Mice fascinate me. I don’t mean the little furry mammals, though actually they do fascinate me. In this context I mean computer mice. I’ve a bit of a thing about trying different types of mouse, and the latest to hit the desk is Gyration’s Air Mouse.
This is an ordinary looking cordless mouse and it works in an ordinary looking cordless mouse way. Plug the provided dongle into a USB port, hit its Connect button, hit the Connect button on the mouse, and you are in business.
But there’s more. This is one of those mice that you can wave about in the air. There’s a trigger button on its underside and if you hold this down while waving the mouse around you can move the cursor and left and right click.
In addition to the main large mouse buttons there are three programmable buttons sitting just beneath the scroll wheel. Two are simple tap buttons, the third you hold down to swipe the mouse in eight directions. To programme these and two shake control functions you need to install some software, and here I hit a snag. I was installing the mouse on a netbook without an optical drive. Copying the installation file to a USB stick was no bother, though.
The range of activities you can attach to the button presses, swipes and shakes is vast. They include launching software or issuing commands within applications, actions like image capture, zooming and opening the display configuration, and functions like closing windows, cut, copy and paste.
If the variety here is not enough you can set up screen hotspots to trigger actions. There are eight in all – the four screen edges and the four screen corners. And you can even invoke an Alt, Shift, Ctrl or Windows based keystroke combination.
And yes, all those options work both when the mouse is on the table and when it is wielded in mid air.
The Gyration Air Mouse is designed for both left and right handed users. On the desk I had no trouble at all with it. However in the air I found holding down the ‘trigger’ button on the underside was fine for cursor movement and using the two large mouse buttons, and for the shake controls. The smaller three programmable buttons were a bit tricky to reach though.
Gyration has second guessed this potential problem, and you can double click the trigger button to force the mouse into ‘motion mode’ so you don’t have to hold it down. This makes things a whole lot easier.
I am ready to pack the Gyration Air Mouse in its little travelling pouch and take it with me next time I work away from the office. I want to see the look of amazement on the faces of those on the train when I start waving my mouse in the air.
The Air Mouse costs £85 if you buy it online from Gyration.