Mouse beautiful

13th June 2003 at 01:00
Do you ever wish for the day when you could run the computer by gesturing with a hand? With Gyration's hi tech mouse that day has pretty much arrived: wave it in the air and, goodness me, the mouse pointer moves across the screen in time. Just imagine your chair at its laziest tilt, arms on the rests and you've of picture of yourself at work in the modern world.

This Ultra Cordless Optical Suite turns out to be an ingenious teacher's tool. If you demonstrate things on a projector screen, or care to pass the mouse around a class, this is the way to go. It is a mouse and keyboard combo where the mouse has a "gyro" sensor to respond to movement in the air. To work the gyro you hold a button, flex your wrist and release when the pointer is on target. If waving it in the air requires a steady hand and practice - for finer control you there's an additional "optical" sensor to use it on a desk. It feels as solid as anything with wires, better than cheap models and works as far as 25 feet away. No need to stoop at the computer, you can now stand and coolly click through PowerPoint slides.

The Gyration cordless keyboard is a surprise bonus. It's like a laptop keyboard without the screen, is easy to hand around and small enough for a bag. Typing to an audience always has me hitting the wrong keys, but now I give the keyboard to the class. This way not only involves the group, they get to laugh at someone else for a change. The keyboard works on regular batteries that seem to last for months, while the mouse has a discrete stand to charge it up.

What commends this to schools is a friendly, disc-or driver-free installation. You plug its radio base unit into a USB slot on the PC and, for first-time use, press the learn button on each unit and you are soon waving and working it. Put the Gyration keyboard and mouse beside an interactive whiteboard and they're worlds apart. One requires a software installation and a long explanation that no-one else in the school gets to hear. The other offers a cool little mouse that will not scare anyone.

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