To enhance navigation the configuration software offers several pre-defined environments, including Media Player, Internet and Presentation, but more can be created and the action of each button defined by the user. Furthermore, you can utilise gestures. By depressing the centre button I actioned tasks by swinging the mouse upwards in various angles and directions.
In iTunes, a ‘Left swipe’ made my most recently played album start over. An ‘Up swipe’ brought up Elite’s own volume bar, allowing me to adjust my PC’s audio, as though pulling on a drawstring. As useful as the feature was, things didn’t always go smoothly because my swipes were often wrongly interpreted, with Firefox skipping back a page instead of opening my bookmarks folder.
Pointing not waving
An extra £30 will get you the Air Mouse companion wireless, low-profile 105 chiclet-style keyboard that relies on the same USB RF unit. Indeed, the mouse and USB dongle communicated flawlessly and went beyond Gyration’s stated 100ft (30m) contact distance, even with large objects between the pair. The Elite’s internal battery ran for days before running low on power, but the supplied USB-powered charging cradle is poorly designed, because even the slightest knock makes the mouse fall off.
Despite only basic Mac/Linux support, the charger shortcomings and minor niggles with the gesture recognition capability, I enjoyed using Air Mouse Elite. It has broad appeal for a range of environments as it works well as a traditional desktop mouse, whilst delivering a unique user experience with its additional functionality both as remote controller and an in-air PC navigator. ®
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Gyration Air Mouse Elite
Dumb, dumb, dumb
When are people going to wake up and realize that "touch" and "gesture" based interfaces for all but hand held devices is STUPID? Wasn't the industrial revolution about replacing muscle power with machines?
Isn't waving your arms around to use a computer like, um, tiring? I'll twiddle my fingers on a four-inch screen or a touchpad, no problem, but on a f**king full-size monitor? An outrageous number of people have clearly started smoking some really good weezee and drinking Kool-Aid at the same time.
Imagine the scene in 20 years' time when the world is dominated by Wii-type controllers and multi-touch screens:
DR EVIL: "Riiiight... today we are going to introduce an IT revolution... I've invented this new device that I like to call a "mouse"... using this "mouse" which is a small hand-held controller that stays on a flat surface, the user can manipulate a "pointer" on the monitor and make it travel huge distances on screen with just a tiny movement of the hand on the "mouse"... no more large arm movements across the monitor or nasty fingerprints. Quite breathtaking I think."
NUMBER TWO: "Um, Dr Evil... That's already been done."
DR EVIL: "Riiight. How about this. We replace the virtual keyboard on computer monitors with something I'll call a "hardware" keyboard. This "hardware" keyboard will be a separate item with finger-sized, spring-loaded plastic keys that will keep the monitor clean, provide improved tactile feedback and allow the monitor surface and keyboard to be at separate angles to combine an optimal viewing AND typing experience."
NUMBER TWO: "That too, has already been done."
DR EVIL. "Shit. OK, let's just find an old CRT TV set, buy a Commodore 64 on eBay and hide in the bedroom."
Gotta have one of these...
...just as soon as they're down to £4.95 in Tescos....
£90 for a mouse. Really...?
Might as well buy a Wii if you want to wave plastic in the air.
I had a much older gyration mouse keyboard combo and it was pretty good till the gyro bit of the mouse packed in.
I replaced it with a newer version and it is pretty crap. The mouse looks knackered after a year with silver paint on the plastic you can scratch with a finger nail, the rubberized coating on other parts is scratched and peeling away, the 'tyre' on the mouse wheel skids because grease from the bearings wicked underneath it.
The mouse is a pain in the arse. There is an IR emitter and sensor in the nose which detects when it is on a surface. The sensor is way too sensitive and not properly screened from the emitter. It will detect a finger from about 3 inches so when you straighten you index finger to not operate the underside 'air' button the sensor sees it and switches to surface mode. A bit of dirt or fluff in the emitter hole reflects enough IR onto the sensor to make it even more sensitive or keep it in surface mode.
Poor design and poor build quality, I hope this mega expensive elite version is better.
and what about the batteries?
Do they still use those really naff NiCd non-standard batteries? I used 1 for about a year on my HCPC, but when the second set of batteries died, I gave up and went for a mini keyboard with a built in mouse pad. wireless keyboard with mouse pad cost (much) less than a single replacement battery and uses AAA cells which last for ages
-Paris, 'cos she knows what to do when the batteries run out