Nose-controlled mouse not to be sniffed at

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Letters More letters! Mostly about the very bizarre, we thought, notion of using your nose to control a mouse pointer. Seems you lot think this is a fine idea.

We'll we still think it's silly, but we'll hear you out:

What's this rubbish about blinking for a mouse-click? The most intuitive would be to tap the right side of your nose for a right-click, and the left side for a left-click. And a slow tap would mean "You'll have to guess what I want because I'm not going to tell you."


The problem with the nose-driven mouse is that if you sneeze, it erases your hard disc.

best R

One wonders if there is a competition at El Reg which will award the winner a few pints for consistently missing the point. You, Lester, are certainly far in the lead, if such a contest exists.


We note, Morely, that you have not highlighted what the point might actually be. Perhaps we have our noses incorrectly configured. It might be a driver issue.

As much as I appreciate all your efforts in your writing (and it is quite good), I think the editorializing and rehtoric you use in your articles is a bit much. It tends to make the Register feel more like an technology tabloid more than professional news source.

Otherwise, keep writing! Cory


I've been working on a similar system for use in games, and believe me, playing UT2004 where all you have to do is to look at the person and blink to frag give an unbelivable advantage.


Fair point - not an application we had considered.

natural point already have a mature product (3rd revision) of such a device. Check out www.naturalpoint.com/


There is always one, isn't there?

As somebody who currently already uses 2 pointing devices (A cordless mouse and a Trackball) on the same machine to try and reduce RSI pains, I can see a lot of use for the "Nouse"

I have a 21" monitor here, set at 1600 x 1200, and the one thing that perpetually annoys me, is the fact that I have to take my eyes of the place in the document where I am working in order to locate my mouse pointer. It's great having loads of screen estate, but life would be a hell of a lot easier if the pointer followed mymy gaze around the screen.

I'm not liking this idea of blinking for clicks (I don't want RSI in my eyelids, or to develop a nasty facial twitch). Perhaps I could just have a couple of fist-sized buttons on my desktop. Then I'd be very happy. Obviously, if the pointer was tracking my eyeball movements instead of my nose, then everything would be just peachy.

So whats' the problem here. Do you guys *LIKE* RSI or something? Surely the idea of a handsfree user interface would appeal to anybody, or am I missing something?


Handsfree, maybe. But nose-driven? We're less sure.

The 3D version of the nouse will be great for those long nights of overwork when you just fall asleep over your laptop, too.

Seriously, though, I've often resented having to move my hand from keyboard to mouse, and particularly back to keyboard, when an app. is designed badly so you're making the move several times per minute. And touchpads at the bottom of the keyboard as on laptops induce shoulder-ache. So an eye-directed pointer (or indeed nose-directed, now that they come to mention it) does seem like it has legs (groan).


Crap! I knew those Canuks were crafty, but I thought that it'd take them longer than this to steal my idea! Luckily my development on the Nouse has already given way to the next big innovation in PC mouse replacement based on the tracking of alternative movements: the Noose.

The concept of the Noose is amazingly simple and even cheaper than using two cameras to track 3D motion. Just use the easy hook-up kit to attach the durable cotton-nylon Motion Tracking Cord of the Noose to the ceiling. Then put the Noose around your neck, step off of the Start Block, and begin using your PC. The movements in your neck are instantly translated into mouse-compatible input to the computer. It's amazing!

So far testing of the Noose has gone exceedingly well. Not a single tester has complained or had any suggestions for improvement after an hour of using a Noose. Most have shown about a five minute learning period where their movements are wild and exaggerated as they adapt to the new input device, but shortly after that it becomes apparent to them that the most suble of swaying motions will suffice.

The Noose is going to single-handedly revolutionize the PC industry for disabled users. After just fifteen minutes with a Noose I guarantee that any user's problems are going to go away!

Insincerely, Arah Leonard

Now Arah, you're just being silly...

A brief sojourn in the land of the sensible with a bit of feedback to the news that EDS has revise its forecasts further down, after US Airways filed for Chapter 11 protection:

I heard on a Radio 5 item earlier this week (with Digby Jones) that this is US Airways' second dip into Chapter 11 in the last few years, and UK industry commentators are starting to say that this amounts to state subsidy of a failing company.


Hi Lucy,

I already knew about the job cuts at EDS but the tie-in with US Airways gave me more to worry about. EDS is headquartered in the Dallas area, where I live and work. Fifteen to 20 thousand more job-seekers in this area would put additional strain on an IT job market which is still recovering from 9/11. If US Air drags EDS down with it, that will make a bad situation worse.



We'd love to run the rest of your letter, fantastically funny as it was, but we'd probably get sued.

From actionable email, to, well, actionable email. This time, we're talking about the terrible time workers are having dealing with pornographic spam:

I enjoyed your article, "Protect us from smut, whimper trembling workers." The big question for me is: can the BOfH invert the sense of the filter so that "violent, pornographic and other offensive content" is all he (or maybe The Boss) sees?

Seems like that would be an important function for Sophos to build into their product...

Henkel Wallace

We think so too. We'll see what they say...

I'll bet those snarky bastards even filled out the survery during work hours.


All those trembling nervous nellies might be doing so not because they're exposed to the horrors of smutty spam (and belive me, some if it is truly horrible!) but because they're the ones fired if the wrong person walks by when their inbox opens up to the full color ad for "Join the Teen Sex Website" or the jucier one that landed in my junk folder today: "Billy the Goat F*cker"


We've not heard from Billy in a while. Do give him our very best regards.

That's it for this week. See y'all on Monday.®

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