Mouse Rat: Rethinking the mouse computer interface

Design exploration for a wearable gesture based mouse glove.


The two major ways people interact with a computer are the keyboard and mouse. The former is a precise input, used for tasks where the user knows exactly what they want to do or at least knows how to search for it if they don’t. The mouse on the other hand is an inherently fuzzy and visual input, what it lacks in precision and automation it makes up for in how easy it is to pick up and explore.

A problem with both these inputs is that they are stationary (require to be setting on something) and can lead to repitive stress injuries (something that my teammate Joe has). Our idea was to recreate the fuzzy human-computer interaction with a device thatwasn’t a peripheral, but wearable. By using an accelerometer instead of an optical input we free the user from a desk and by using a glove we allow the user to interact in the most non-invasive way possible: however they want (at least in theory).

Since this is a wearable and multipurpose devices the taxonimies of experience don’t really fit well. Total success in this respect would be if the user didn’t experience anything, it should be transparent to the interaction that the user is currently experiencing. In that respect I guess focus and control are closest to what we want to create.

Out of that comes the aspects of meaning we are trying to create: freedom and oneness. Freedom in the sense that it could be used on a couch just as easily as a desk. Oneness in the sense that we want to create a more organic way to communicate with a computer. This is one part of a system that points us towards the goal of HCI one day mirroring the way we communicate with each other (gestures, speech, and facial expressions).