Orbita Mouse

The Orbita mouse seems to be finally coming to production. After watching that video, it seems that the mouse could be quite nice actually. We’ve seen several people build jog wheels for their computer and others try to make scrolling more ergonomic, and this product seems to add both decently.  Well, it could probably be more ergonomic, but it is a start. At less than $100 it isn’t cost prohibitive either. The question is, have any of you built an alternative? Using a puck shaped device seems like it could get bothersome on the hand, how would you improve the design?

[via Engadget]

30 thoughts on “Orbita Mouse

  1. That looks horrible to use. Having to lift your hand off of the mouse every time you want to scroll? No thank you. Touch sensitive clicking? Horrible design flaw (see ‘mighty mouse’). Well, actually it’s worse here as you’d have to move your whole hand between clicks.
    I’ll take a separate jog wheel over this any day.

  2. I could see a similar device that is actually a ball with accelerometers/gyros inside, you use it like a ball mouse except the ball rotates inside your hand instead of inside the mouse. Rotate the ball in place to act like a trackball/scroll wheel, pick it up to act as a 3D manipulator. Clicks could be squeezing, or tapping the ball against the surface. The main problem would be letting go of the ball and it rolls off the table, your mouse moves and then it clicks somewhere on your screen when it bounces on the floor. :)

  3. I don’t like the powermate because it has pretty poor resolution. I used it as a volume control for a while and the smallest turn that it could recognize was between 45 and 90 degrees.

    I can’t imagine preferring that thing to play an fps over a conventional mouse. I really doubt you could turn quickly and precisely enough to out-play somebody with a mouse.

  4. Perhaps you had a faulty one, andrew. I’ve got a powermate sitting in front of me right now, and I’m estimating something like 3-5 degrees of resolution on max sensitivity. I’m using it on the windows volume control.

  5. To answe the cursorkeys q.: I play FPS with the cursorkeys, I like it best because when I take my hand off I can quickly return to it unlike the WASD keys where I hit the wrong keys, plus my hand is more comfortable.
    But yeah this mouse is definitely not good for FPS due to its design, the video merely shows it can even be controlled enough to play an FPS for a few seconds.
    I’m sure it has its merits though, and the beauty is that you can connect several mice at the same time to computers, you just should not move them at the same simultaneously and get confused.

    But yeah I like the powermate’s looks much better, and of course think the visitors here should build their own scroller. :)

  6. This video was obviouselly produced to entice people like 3d designers, CAD designers, perhaps even game designers… and then maybe the normal techie and average computer users (in that order)….

    in lieu of that, anyone notice that the first 3/4 of the video is shot from the floor? they couldent find a table to use, or atleast move away from the supper table (or alteast move the floor covering?) Sheesh!

  7. Lasted 7 years and never let me down until it died in 2006, even with the 3-4 years of daily 16+ hour use:

    The Article:

    I got a re-issue of the same mouse under the “compaq” branding as PS/2 connection type when the old one died for about $20.

    What am I saying?
    They really need to make a mouse that fits the hands better- big or small hands.

    What would I change?
    I would make the middle mouse button into a toggle switch that turned scrolling on and off, but have the scrolling distance be a factor of the mouse movement on the desktop, like regular mouse movement, rather than a varied constant speed like most toggle button to scroll mice are.

    I would abandon tho puck design completely; mac failed at forcing people to like it, so how would they expect people to voluntarily like it?

    This also reminds me of the a “joystick” that came out in 1999 which was more like a puck shaped handle. It was both used as a mouse that moved across surfaces entirely and a 4 (?) Axis joystick with typical dual axis functionality, twist and push pull. It failed.

  8. I have a logitech Nulooq. It complements a mounse in that if you use a mouse with your right hand, you use the Nulooq with your left (it is stationary). It has left, right, push fwd, pull back, twist, and a tactile electric top of multiple buttons. All customizable.

    it is pretty useful.

  9. I’m a 3D designer and this mouse looks like an awful piece of garbage. Jog wheels and scrollbars in max are controlled by a right click and hold then move up and down to scroll interface already. Having to lift your hand from the mouse to control any aspect of anything while doing computer based design work is a productivity killer.

  10. Scott,

    It sounds like your powermate is broken. I’ve got one too and 3-5 degrees is about right. I have a logitech trackball for my mac that I use with it. I keep the powermate right in front of the track ball(its one with the ball in the middle and buttons on each side) so all i have to do to scroll is extend my middle finger over top the ball and spin.

  11. Isnt the Griffin Powermate just a rotary knob. I saw this mouse at Cebit, Hannover earlier this year. The picture on the web is nothing like the real product. The entire top covering is made from rubber and it spins on a base of ball bearings. You also are not meant to hold it like a normal mouse but rather control it with your fingers. Regrettably, they don’t explain this very well. Very clever device.

  12. I saw this mouse at Cebit, Hannover earlier this year. The picture on the web does not do this product justice.

    The entire top covering is made from rubber and it spins on a base of ball bearings. You also are not meant to hold it like a normal mouse but rather control it with your fingers. Regrettably, they don’t explain this very well. Very clever device.

  13. attn: xrazorwirex

    I started playing counter-strike in beta when I was like 10 and didn’t know any better so I used the arrow keys. The habit stuck up through source, and to this day is the only FPS I (can) play with the arrow keys.

    pgdn to crouch, lctrl to jump, del, end, k0-k7 for other various binds. ;)

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