Ever since I bought a Wii I have been wondering why no one has hopped on the Wii like pointing device bandwagon. I rarely use my Wii but I love the Wiimote, I find it really excels at relaxed web surfing. What do I mean by relaxed web surfing? I mean laying back on your couch with a wireless pointing device and surfing YouTube or your favourite daily websites. The downside to Wii web browsing is the standard definition screen which makes surfing blurry and text hard to read.
Well, someone has finally taken the first step. A few days ago the Eee Stick was officially announced by Asus. These are Wii like controllers that you can hold in your hand and use as pointing devices. They are being marketed as gaming devices and Asus is hoping games will be designed with them in mind. I don’t know if they will satisfy my need for a wireless mouse pointing device, but one would hope that they should work at least as well as a the Wii remote does.
There is no mainstream Wii type technology that i know of that that you can easily pick up at your local computer store and just plug in and go. Many have played with Wii remote hacks to get their remotes working on PCs, GlovePIE is one method some people are using to get their Wiimotes working on computers. The Wiimote Project is also an online community where people discuss Wiimote modding.
There are some gyroscopic mice and other alternatives out there, but they can be hard to come buy. The Gyration Air Mouse is one such mouse, but at the time of writing and every time I have ever checked their site, it always reports that the stand alone mouse is sold out.
Gyration Air Mouse
There are other companies working on wireless pointing devices, and I’m sure Asus won’t be the last to release one. I think the next few years will be very interesting as far as input devices go. There’s a lot of really interesting technology just around the corner and we are only just starting to see some of the really cool stuff like wireless pointing devices and multi-touch user interfaces. It will be really interesting to see how we interact with our computers in twenty years.