Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Soap" Wireless Mouse : DIY

Soap is a hybrid mouse created by Microsoft Labs and UW researcher Patrick Baudisch. The Soap Mouse is an awesome idea that is amazingly easy to do yourself. In a super surprising move from Microsoft, Patrick's Soap website includes not only a very detailed pdf how-to but also a great movie how-to build your own soap mouse.

The mouse is made by removing the internals from a wireless mouse, performing a bit of modification, placing them into a reclaimed Rite Aid hand sanitizer bottle, and placing that assembly into a fuzzy sock. The soap mouse works by reading the inside of the sock by the normal mouse optical unit as the above created assembly is rotated inside of the sock in a very soap bar in your hand kind of motion.

The Soap DIY includes information for two versions, a gamers soap mouse and a 2D display mouse for more usualy mousing. The 2D is more difficult to make but (for most games) having a gamers soap mouse requires you to have a keypad to do your AWSD moving.

I love this creation for a bunch of reasons: It is a new take on the age old mouse input device, it is a pretty easy and inexpensive ($35) geek DIY project, and it just looks cool. I am seriously considering making it but am still trying to figure out when I would really use the little sock mouse.

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