TOU THE MAGIC

A COM­PUTER MOUSE THAT READS THE MOVE­MENTS OF YOUR FIN­GERS—THAT IS WHAT MI­CROSOFT’S NEW MOUSE IS ALL ABOUT.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LAUNCH PAD - BY NIDHI SIN­GAL

Al­most two years ago, Ap­ple in­tro­duced the world to the first wire­less multi-touch mouse that could in­ter­pret hu­man ges­tures. Com­pat­i­ble with the Mac op­er­at­ing sys­tem, its reach was lim­ited to Ap­ple own­ers. The Touch Mouse, in con­trast, will ap­peal to a lot many as it comes from Mi­crosoft and is com­pat­i­ble with the Win­dows 7 op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

The Mi­crosoft Touch Mouse has a black, matte plas­tic fin­ish, its de­sign ev­i­dently in­spired by a squir­rel. It has raised dots and small x’s close to the por­tion on which we rest our palm. Be­low this tex­tured de­sign is the touch sen­sor that reads the ges­tures of both left-hand and right-hand users. Since it takes into ac­count the nat­u­ral place­ment of the hand, it is com­fort­able to use for long du­ra­tions. The mouse comes ac­com­pa­nied by a small USB don­gle and two AA bat­ter­ies that bring it to life. The don­gle needs to be plugged into the PC’S USB port for the mouse to con­nect to it. A demo tour fa­cil­i­tates fa­mil­iari­sa­tion. When not in use, the don­gle can be in­serted at the back of the mouse, elim­i­nat­ing the chances of the don­gle get­ting lost.

The but­ton ori­en­ta­tion can be right or left. You can use one, two and three fin­gers. A sin­gle finger can be used to nav­i­gate through the doc­u­ments and im­ages. Scrolling a finger ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally helps in scrolling and pan­ning a doc­u­ment and to zoom in/out on an im­age. Lightly mov­ing the thumb di­ag­o­nally takes you to the next or pre­vi­ous im­ages and web pages. A two-finger up­ward swipe max­imises an ap­pli­ca­tion win­dow; a down­ward swipe min­imises it. Snap­ping a win­dow to half screen can be achieved by swip­ing two fin­gers hor­i­zon­tally to ei­ther left or right of the screen. To man­age the desk­top, use three fin­gers. Swip­ing all three up­wards shows the run­ning ap­pli­ca­tions, while swip­ing down­ward min­imises them, while show­ing the desk­top.

Mi­crosoft’s pro­pri­etary tech­nol­ogy en­ables the Touch Mouse to work on var­i­ous sur­faces with­out af­fect­ing the speed and sen­si­tiv­ity of the de­vice. How­ever, use of ges­ture-con­trol is pos­si­ble only on Win­dows 7 (both Home and Pro­fes­sional) as it was de­vel­oped keep­ing the fea­tures of the OS in mind. It works like a reg­u­lar mouse with Win­dows XP, Vista and 7 Starter.

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