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New mouse fits like a glove

Mid-air mouse picks up hand movements in 3D

Our coverage of the CES show in Las Vegas last week threw up a trend toward computing mobility, which appeared in several products that offer alternative ways to interact with your PC.

If you dislike having to clamp your hand on a mouse all day or if you have problems holding your wrists in a certain position, consider this strange concept: mousing in mid-air.

Essential Reality has developed an odd-looking hand contraption that lets you control your mouse when you flick your fingers and wrist in various, customisable ways.

The P5 is designed to take advantage of 3D games but could also be a useful alternative to desktop navigation and moseying around in certain applications.

Here's how it works: you place a glove-like apparatus on your hand, which includes separate extensions for your four fingers and thumb. A tall, narrow docking station (a tracking device) is hooked up to a USB port on your PC. This infrared device will interpret your hand's movements and make things happen on the desktop.

Holding your hand out in front of you, if you, say, wave your index finger around, you can control the cursor on screen. Flick your finger twice mid-air and you can open programs. With 3D games you can customise your hand movements to shoot a gun, swing a bat or rotate your position.

Wearers of the P5 glove have about a three-foot range from the infrared unit, however Essential Reality hopes to increase this. Despite previous promises to ship last autumn, the company now says it expects to release the P5 this May.

The P5 is expected to cost around £100. Lefties are out of luck for now, although the company says it may come out with a wireless device for both lefthanded and righthanded computer users. The P5 won't replace your keyboard by any means, but it can give you the freedom to mouse-click in an entirely new way.

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