By Andrew Liszewski
Besides tablets, trackballs and touchpads, there haven’t been many advancements in human-PC interaction since the development of the mouse and keyboard. And while Contour Design’s RollerMouse Free is called a ‘mouse’, using it is a whole different experience. The device comes in the form of a wrist wrest, but just above the left, center and right buttons you’ll find a long spinning dowel (for lack of a better term) that can be shifted left and right by about 3 or 4 inches.
Spinning the dowel causes the cursor to move vertically on-screen, while sliding it from side-to-side takes care of the cursor’s horizontal movement. I have to say that using the device was a little awkward at first, since I’ve been pushing around a traditional mouse for about half my life, but after just a few minutes, controlling the cursor with the RollerMouse becomes second nature. The main benefit to using the RollerMouse Free is to help reduce repetitive stress injuries in your ‘mousing’ arm, but it also helps keep your hands near the ‘home row’ at all times, theoretically increasing your productivity.
According to the Contour Design rep I spoke to, the RollerMouse Free should be available in the first weeks of March for $219.95 from the company’s website.