Gen2 pointing device

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky znmeb at
Tue Dec 25 11:59:40 EST 2007

Albert Cahalan wrote:
> It's time to think outside the box again. These office-oriented
> pointing devices aren't working very well. Kids are commonly
> coated with stuff. That includes abrasive grit, conductive liquid,
> and opaque liquid. Mud and food are particularly common.
> The touchpad fails with conductive liquid. Remember that people
> do not have equally sweaty hands, even in an equal environment.
> What works for you, or in a cold office, won't work for everybody.
> Now add mud and food.
> Using a stylus unsurprisingly requires a stylus. This is not good.
> If the stylus were to be a primary input device, it would need to
> be in relative mode. Anything pressure-sensitive is going to
> encourage heavy pressure with sharp objects, leading to damage.
> On the positive side, at least it works fine while filthy.
> The touchscreen is first of all just plain inadequate. It lacks the
> ability to hover, which is used throughout sugar. It is inaccurate.
> Depending on mechanism, it has either the touchpad or stylus problems.
> The really terrible thing is screen damage. Screens will not last long
> if kids are rubbing them with filthy fingers. Mud contains grit.
> This could work:
> It might be possible to mold it right into the keyboard, preventing
> entry of liquids or grit while cutting costs.
> This could work:
> It's especially good for tablet mode, assuming that gets kept.
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What about a second camera and tracking head movements? Sonar? Can't I
just "point with my nose?"

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