The Combimouse: Split-Type Keyboard That Doubles As A Mouse
I’ve always felt more comfortable working on laptops than desktop computers. One reason is the minimal travel required from they keyboard to the pointing device. On a desktop, your right or left hand would have to travel at least four inches to the mouse. A laptop’s touchpad is only an inch away from the keyboard. Trackpoints (the rubber nubs that function like joysticks) are even closer–they’re built smack right into the keyboard, half an inch where your index finger would usually be.
There are desktop keyboards that feature built-in pointing devices, very much like those of laptops, such as the Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 8000. But what if your keyboard functioned as the mouse, itself?
That’s just what the Combimouse is designed to be. It’s a split-type keyboard, with one side (the right side) doubling as the mouse.
The combimouse right unit is a mobile combination keyboard and mouse that can be moved around on a support surface like a conventional mouse. The keys are arranged in the fashion of the right hand side of a conventional QWERTY keyboard.
By default the right unit operates in keyboard mode. When the user grips the right unit and so touches the side of the unit in the area labeled above as ‘Contact switch’, the right unit automatically changes to mouse mode.
When in this mode, movement of the right unit enables cursor movement on the screen and the keys I, O, J, K, L and < become mouse click buttons.
The combimouse is not yet in production, as the designer is still looking for investors and companies to help produce and market the device. I, for one, think it’s a good idea. It needs getting used to, though. And there should also be a version for lefties!