You can't get much more mundane that a computer mouse, right? Wrong - as these 15 weird and wonderful input devices prove beyond doubt.
There's a whole host of companies out there that have tried to 'improve' the current mouse design. From novelty shaped mice to devices that allow you to multi-task, we've picked out the 15 weirdest we can find.
The mouse phone
Of all ill-conceived tech products, the Sony Mouse Talk is certainly one of the more memorable. It was launched back in the glory days of VoIP (that’s Skype to you and me) when USB-connected “internet” phones were all the rage.
Instead of using your desktop speakers and a microphone connected to your PC’s sound card, you could pretend you were on a real phone. For some reason Sony decided to put it inside a mouse.
The scanner mouse
This entry is potentially handy but that doesn't stop it being weird. According to LG, there are 'countless moments in everyday life where you wish you had a scanner to hand' so created the LSM-100 scanner mouse.
Instead of buying a dedicated scanner the LG scanner mouse needs only be dragged across the document you want to capture. The mouse is abnormally large due to the huge reader placed on the bottom and can scan up to A3 size – as long as you don't move it faster than 0.3 ms.
A better way to write
The Hanwang T Mouse is perfect for ensuring you don't have to work too hard. If I use a keyboard, there's a very real danger I could finish a story in a day, thus conditioning my boss to expect me to produce something every day to follow.
Sounds exhausting! But if I write my stories by painstakingly drawing the characters with a stylus on the matchbook-size, touch-sensitive pad on my mouse, one story could easily take weeks. That'll cure my boss of any unreasonable expectations.
The peep hole
The iris scan authentication system has become a staple of modern movies, from The Incredibles to Angels and Demons. But in your average spy thriller, an iris scan always looks cool and cutting-edge. Not so much with the Qritek IRIBIO mouse.
Instead of looking like Tom Cruise completing an Impossible Mission, our mouse model above looks more like Joe Perv ogling tiny images of French underwear models. That's too high a price to pay for security.
Disembodied torso mouse
Number one our list of Mice That Will Get You Fired comes from Swiss trinketeer Pat Says Now, maker of a wide array of novelty computer mice. (Some of these mouse-torsos come clothed in tiny, tight-fitting sweaters emblazoned with the logos of various football teams, but as the product description; reads, "Your mouse needs to take off her shirt for working properly.")
And if using it doesn't earn you a trip to HR, well, someone at your place of employment is not working properly. Not surprisingly, each breast on the torso is a button. They would have added a scroll wheel somewhere in between, but they're saving that for the triple-breasted 'Total Recall' edition.
"Careful - he's a got a mouse!"
Number two on our list of Mice That Will Get You Fired is this mouse in the shape of a Sig Sauer P230 handgun from CyberGun. While it doesn't in fact shoot any projectiles, it should be creepy enough to keep most co-workers from interacting with you at all - until security comes to escort you from the premises.
The number three position in the same list is held by this Thanko Kinniku mouse. While its mere presence of this mouse on your desktop shouldn't get you in trouble, there are still numerous pitfalls waiting for you.
Using the mouse is supposed to stimulate your muscles with small electric shocks via stick-on electrodes, causing your muscles to contract involuntarily. It's like getting a massage, but not.
How's that going to get you fired? Try either of these phrases and see where they get you: 'Pardon me, would you mind lifting my shirt and rearranging my electrodes?' or ‘I find your use of my mouse quite stimulating!'
Super Mario mouse
Introducing the most anti-ergonomic mouse ever produced: pixelated Mario. We can't help but wonder whether using Super Mario will immediately give you Repetitive Strain Injuries in your hand.
A mouse is such a simple device that not even the worst inventor could screw it up, right? Wrong! We've rounded up the 13 weirdest mice.
A calculator in every mouse by 2020
The LS-100TKM from Canon flips open like a 1990s mobile phone to reveal a secret integrated calculating device (aka a ‘calculator') and numeric keypad.
We all want to secure our PCs, but few of us want to deal with the hassles required, like remembering long, complicated passwords or peering into a tiny iris scanner on the side of our mouse.
That's where the amazing Zalman FG-1000 FPS Gun mouse comes in. You can make your password 'password' and even the most sophisticated data thief won't be able to get a thing from your PC - they'll be too stumped by the mouse.
I don't care if your computer is packed with CIA secrets, no criminal will be willing to invest the hours and hours of frustrating trial and error you'll have put in just to figure out how to left-click. Call it security through obnoxious design.
Help, your hand stinks!
The LED Message Mouse not only contains an integrated fan to cool your sweaty palm during a Quake IV tournament, but it also displays a message on said rotating fan using LEDs. Sadly, it's a message that you'll never see...because you'll be covering it with your sweaty palm.
Who's the Boss?
All we've got to say in regards to this bizzare minature dog-behind-a-desk shaped mouse is who did this, and, for the love of humanity, why?
Konami designed the Pop'n Music Be-Mouse to double as a game controller for playing - what else - Pop'n Music, a Japanese rhythm game. But failing that, you could always use its numerous buttons to trigger something far more exciting: Excel macros.
Check your pulse
The ASUSTek Vito W1 mouse keeps track of your heart rate and reports it to an application on your computer. If your pulse is too high, a yellow smiley face frowns at you. If your pulse is too low, you may be dead. But you didn't need an ASUSTek Vito W1 to tell you that.
Real computer bugs
If there were any insect rights groups they would be up in antennae over these new mice that contain real animals imprisoned in clear acrylic resin. Pictured here are the beetle and spider models; also available are mice containing real starfish, scorpions, and crabs. It's a great idea if you don't mind resting your palm on a dead bug.
See also: The 14 weirdest keyboards in the world