A Invisible Mouse

Mouseless is an invisible computer mouse that provides the familiarity of interaction of a physical mouse without actually needing a real hardware mouse.

The Mouseless invention removes the requirement of having a physical mouse altogether but still provides the intuitive interaction of a physical mouse that we are familiar with. Mouseless consists of an Infrared (IR) laser beam (with line cap) and an Infrared camera. Both IR laser and IR camera are embedded in the computer. The laser beam module is modified with a line cap and placed such that it creates a plane of IR laser just above the surface the computer sits on. The user cups their hand, as if a physical mouse was present underneath, and the laser beam lights up the hand which is in contact with the surface. The IR camera detects those bright IR blobs using computer vision.

Using an IR laser, an IR camera and specialized software, Mouseless is able to interpret hand and finger movements. Basically, the laser illuminates parts of the hand that are touching the surface of the table. The camera tracks those illuminated parts, and the software sorts out what kind of commands are being sent, from simple movement to clicks to multi-touch gestures.

Mistry (the inventor) claims that their working prototype only cost them $20 to build, which means that this technology is very feasible. If Mouseless ever gets adopted, I hope that they come up with gestures that are less taxing. For example, instead of moving my hand around in a cupped position, I could just use one finger to move the mouse. Other than that, it’s perfect: we’ll have one less gadget to buy, to carry, to charge or buy batteries for. That not only means savings, it also means less waste.

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