Footime mouse: controlled by the feet

GCN Insider: The mouse moves from the desktop to the floor

Like the paper clip of an earlier era, the mouse has become one of the most important productivity innovations of the PC era.

And, also like the paper clip, the mouse has remained relatively unchanged in the 25 years since its introduction. Yes, we all were grateful when vendors clipped the mouse's tail by introducing wireless connections. Most of us ' in the non-Macintosh world, at least ' cheered the introduction of the right-click button. And for a few who specialize in graphic-intensive specialties, the introduction of 3-D mice is a definite advance.

Nevertheless, for most users, the mouse is nearly the same as it's always been ' a point-and-click tool so much a part of everyday computing it's practically an extension of your hand.

With Footime, from Bili, the mouse moves from the desktop to the floor. The Footime mouse is controlled with a user's foot instead of his or her hand.

Bili promotes the Footime mouse primarily as an option for people with hand or arm disabilities, including the hundreds of thousands of office workers with carpal tunnel syndrome. But it seems to us that moving the mouse to the floor offers a lot of potential for nondisabled computer users as well. After all, why should we have to keep taking one hand off the keyboard to find the mouse while our feet sit idly under the desk?

The two-part device employs both of a user's feet. There's a slipper-shaped pointer controlled by one foot and a pedal with mouse click buttons, a scroll roller and definable buttons controlled by the other foot.

'Some may wonder: Can feet really handle it?' asks Bili's on-line advertisement. 'Believe it or not, feet are smarter than many people think. For example, car drivers can skillfully control car pedals for gas, break and clutch by foot without even looking at them. Foot control for computer input is a feasible solution. As Bili's slogan goes, 'Trust your feel, trust your feet.' '
Bili also offers a foot-controlled page turner for musicians using digital music programs.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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