15 Magnificent and Monstrous Computer Mice
The mouse: universally used (trackballs just don’t mesh that well with Excel) but there isn’t that much you can do with the things, right? Wrong! You only think that way because you aren’t trying to sell them! Behold some of the lengths businesses go to to drag-and-drop your cash into their pockets:
1. The CP-1 Spy Mouse
The perfect peripheral for the paranoid schizophrenic who believes that people are out to snoop through their stuff. The CP-1’s hidden microphone is perfect for catching anyone in your office area, assuming you have the good fortune to be spied by someone with a habit of talking loudly to themselves while engaged in illicit behavior. Unfortunately, due to a little thing called “natural selection” there aren’t many of those. And if you were the sort of person actually interesting enough to spy on, you wouldn’t be the sort of person who fantasizes about James Bond mice.
2. Ring Air Mouse
When is a mouse not a mouse? When it’s just a ring. Behold the MagicMouse, a wearable USB mouse that does away with chunky “actual physical object” aspect and gifts you with an entire extra dimension while it’s at it. Yes, this student project is a full 3D device – as well as the usual “move around the screen” feature (which you may have met), moving your hand towards or away from the screen will zoom the display – or could be used to control scrollbars, alter fonts or whatever extra level of control your computer-use needs. If it was a commercial product we’d have one already.
You knew it had to happen. Since effectively creating “hardcore gaming” (by suddenly making all the dedicated gamers a subset of a vast new casual market) Wiimotes have been hacked to control everything from Roombas to dildos. And “moving a pointer around a screen” is a hell of a lot closer to the intended Wiimote function than either of those. Though perhaps less fun, unless you use it to visit particularly specific websites.
4. Hand Warmer Mouse
Have you ever suffered from a chilly hand while working on those TPS reports? Of course not, because nobody has, but Brando clearly imagine that we’re all slaving away in Dickensian sweatshops where Scrooge supplies our servers but won’t pay for lumps of coal. Which makes this product a little self-defeating – wouldn’t anyone in such a situation spend twenty-three dollars on a sweater, or basic food and medical supplies instead of a crappily gimmickized mouse? Still, it’s nice to see that the one electrician brave enough to ignore the “Design electronics so that they DON’T overheat” rule got work somewhere.
5. Choikawadeco Mouse
Behold the glory of the Choikawadeco mouse, and be amazed at the fact that it’s even more unwieldy than its name! Disco balls are awesome in all sorts of funky ways, but palm-pressing input peripherals isn’t one of them in the same way that tigers are awesome but aren’t great preschool teachers. We can think of a few things slightly worse to have your hand clamped to for several hours a day but most of them were invented by the Inquisition before electricity existed.
6. USB Mouse Calculator
Prezzybox needs to be investigated by some kind of human rights organization. They clearly have some kind of idiot/savant chained up in there making products, a demented split mind which can go through the entire process of conceiving of, designing and building a USB calculator mouse without thinking “Isn’t building a calculator whose only purpose is to connect to a computer kind of useless?” We assume he goes to work in a car with a small skateboard bolted to the steering wheel, after being woken by a wife with a copy of Playboy stapled to her face.
7. Iris Recognition Mouse
Another method of cash-extraction from middle managers who really wish they were secret agents: the iris-scanning mouse. Despite the sheer level of unnecessarilarity (hint: so high we had to invent a new word for it), and the way unsupported third party hacks demolish the security of a workstation rather than improving it, jamming an iris scanner into a mouse is like inserting a Faberge egg into a hamster. Pointless, painful, and you’ll significantly impair the function and quality of both in the process.
8. Mouse Mouse
Oh come on, you knew it had to happen. At least this guy presents it as a tutorial instead of trying to extract money for his terrible gag. We would demand an apology on behalf of the English language, but considering this guy was prepared to eviscerate a real actual dead mouse for the sake of some minor wordplay we’ve decided not to bother him. Or live in the same city, if we can help it.
9. Steampunk Mouse
To prove that not every mouse-modder is an insane fetishist who works with skinned corpses behold the beauty of the Steampunk mouse. This anachronistic coolness combines the guts of a nameless modern mouse with a fantastic assortment of brass, cogs, levers and other things whose awesome appearance is only superseded by their anti-ergonomy.
10. Alien Mouse
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when you’re talking about small things meant to be easily moved by the weakened wrist of a computer user. This is proved in spectacular fashion by the Alien Mouse, a megamassive monstrosity that encompasses your entire arm. This is not a joke. Your whole entire arm is meant to be embedded in its chain of pads and surfaces – there are spacesuits that are easier to get out of, and when you have to buy a bigger computer desk just to support your mouse then someone somewhere is doing something wrong. There’s a fair chance you could tear your limb off if you turn around suddenly in this thing, and the only machine that’s allowed to do that looks like Arnold Schwarzzeneger.
11. The Worst Designed Mouse in the World
Behold the Media Player Mouse. Also know as “What happens when a 1980s remote control sleeps with a $5 mouse, in the dark, after drinking two bottles of absinthe and getting off a double shift working in the Chernobyl clean-up operation”. The surface is studded with fantastically unusable buttons, some of which can only be reached if you break some of your knuckles in half while using the mouse. This mouse hasn’t even been in the same building as an actual designer, what with the whole “letting the gimmick utterly destroy the original point of the device”: the extra buttons displacing the actual mouse buttons to an unreachable point underneath the connecting wire. You’d have better luck controlling your computer by clutching a porcupine, and likely hurt yourself less in the process.
12. The Antiergonomic Star Mouse
Sent directly through a portal in space from the Dimension of Pain because there’s no way someone from the hu-man universe thought this was a good idea. A mouse built entirely of sharp, pointy edges – perhaps some sort of self-flagellating peripheral for guilty catholics to use while surfing porn. Wolverine couldn’t use this without hurting himself. We would mock it harder, but we fear the angular metal digits the makers must have would rip us to shreds.
13. Heart Monitor Mouse
The Vit W1 mouse tracks your heart rate as you surf, uploading your pulse data via USB to a tracking application in your PC. Because God Knows your windows box needs just one more process running in the background. At this point you should feel free to make your own joke about heart rates and porn images.
14. Vertical 3 Mouse
Some ideas are just so bolt-from-the-blue inspired that you have to act them immediately, dashing to the drawing board after dropping whatever work/food/lover you happened to be doing at the time. Then there are the abominations painfully forced out like the consequences of swallowing a bowling ball. The Vertical 3 mouse is one of the latter. There’s no form or function here, no good reason, just the image of a roomful of people in an uninspired electronics firm staring at a mouse thinking “Dear god in heaven, how can we make it different? Even if that makes it hilariously unusable?”
15. The T-800 of Mice
To make up for the preceding abomination bask in the the glory of this custom-made stainless steel mouse. A joy to behold and it could likely defend you against up to four Daleks. The maker insists that it’s ergonomic, but considering he spent eight months grinding steel to make it we’ll have to assume that he’d claim it could cure cancer and file him under “slightly biased.” We will believe that your sense of touch won’t feel any pain because it’s too busy reporting “this thing is so damn cool!” – and even if it does hurt, you’ll be too scared to complain.