Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Mouse for 3D motion

Computer mice have become the user-friendliest devices for human-computer interaction. Yet, manipulating 3D objects with 2D mice is a completely tiresome and time-consuming task. Beyond the capabilities of a standard mouse, a new upcoming peripheral, the Space Mouse, provides extraordinary capabilities of controlling 3D objects and can be helpful in exploring the 3D world.
Mouse for 3D motion
Anyone using a 2D mouse to interface with 3D applications discovers the restrictions imposed by these limitations. Thereby, the execution of simple moves, when designing or viewing a 3D object, requires careful decision making on the keystrokes and mouse clicks necessary. In this way, pausing the natural motion leads to spending considerable time on completing such tasks. Even for an experienced user, any attempts for more complete or continuous motion are actually limited and failures are common.

The developed Space Mouse is more than the typical computer mouse peripheral. As a 3D interface device allows the movement control of viewpoints and objects of up to 6 degrees of freedom at the same time. Hence, apart from the classical 2D movements, the user is now able to push, pull and rotate the 3D object in any direction with a single manoeuvre.

With 3D becoming an integral part of mainstream applications, such as multimedia, animation, and games, designers and viewers explore new means for optimal control in 3D environments. The Space Mouse control device provides greater flexibility and interactivity and makes even difficult moves easy. Hence, it reduces the time and cost of 3D projects. Furthermore, the navigation and exploration of designs is performed in a more natural way, as if the designs were objects in the real world. Consequently, it results in better and more creative designs.

This patented device is a space proven, highly reliable technical product with extremely low production costs. Its core unit is a touch-free and wear-free optoelectronic measurement system unaffected from light intensity variations. Being the simplest and most cost-effective mouse interface than any other currently used, it is expected to become an essential tool for facilitating the manipulation of 3D viewpoints and objects for further harnessing the power of 3D applications.
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