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Better ergonomic mouse based on fingerstyle guitar

Mar 28, 2017

4 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

Three years ago I began to suffer from RSI caused by prolonged and intense mouse use as part of my work as an environmental modeller. My office (an engineering firm) generously offered to pay for whatever equipment I needed, so was able to test several ergonomic mice in the market. None of them well enough to completely relieve my symptoms. I then decided to build my own mouse.I started my design from the fact that I can play fingerstyle guitar (plucking) for hours without issues, yet 15 minutes of working with a conventional mouse will bring on my symptoms. This suggested that instead of pushing down to click on mouse buttons, pulling in my fingers to click (the way I do when I pluck a guitar string) was the ergonomic way to do this.The other differences between clicking a mouse button and plucking a guitar string involve the range of motion (ROM) and the force applied. A mouse button has an ROM of a couple of millimeters, but plucking a guitar string involves at least 20 mm. In theory the small ROM in a mouse should be a good thing, but it is not because it takes more force to click the button than to pluck a string. Most ergonomic mice use the same buttons as conventional ones. Some ergonomic mice had buttons are lighter than others (including touch mice), but they pose a problem of accidental clicks that required me to lift my fingers while using them. I realized that the solution was to use the principle of a lever: increase the ROM to click the button, thus requiring less force to do so while avoiding accidental clicks. To achieve this leverage, the point where the finger clicks the mouse should be farther forward of the mouse button. This revises a feature found in all mice, conventional or ergonomic, where the finger is right over the buttons.I have attached a picture of my mouse. It is actually built of two travel mice, one piggybacked on the other. The one on top has no electronics but has the buttons, the other on the bottom has the electronics. The levers used to click the buttons are caps from a medicine bottle. The body is a piece of foam.One the left side is a padded button for the thumb, which is the middle click. Due to the placement of the wheel, I could not build a lever for this button. Using the thumb made sense, since it is the strongest digit on the hand, but does nothing on a conventional mouse.My travel mouse had a large wheel, which I retained because I found it to be easier to use. But the big change I adopted was to move the wheel farther to the front of the mouse, which I achieved by cutting off as much of the PCB as possible. The advantage of this placement is that it prevents my fingers from curling or bending back to turn the wheel. I also wanted to place the wheel even lower but I could not do so without radically modifying the mouse. Again, this goes against the convention of placing the wheel on top of the mouse.The other innovation I wanted to put in was to place the mouse wheel over the pointing finger rather than the middle. This is after all the finger I use to turn the wheel, and often the one I use to click it. An informal survey of my co-workers showed that they do the same thing. But like the QWERTYY keyboard, there is really no strong reason for the mouse wheel to be between the two buttons other than symmetry and tradition. Others might prefer to use their middle fingers to operate the wheel, but still use their stronger index finger to click it. The remarkable thing was that after I came up with my mouse with the idea to click a button by pulling in my fingers, Microsoft came up with the Sculpt mouse that had this feature. I tried it, but I went back to my homebuilt mouse. The Sculpt was too big for my hand, and it did not have the leverage (as well as the other features of my mouse).My mouse completely stopped my RSI. I enjoyed it for about a year until the buttons started to fail, and I did not have the energy to rebuild it. Fortunately I found your Dell WM 311 which I believe helped my symptoms though its lightness and low profile. It did not completely eliminate my RSI but if I took enough breaks I was able to avoid the pain. A week ago the middle button on this mouse stopped working, and I learned that it is no longer in production. This morning I received what is supposed to be closest model to it available, the WM514, but it is larger and heavier. I am concerned that I will soon need to resume my search for the perfect mouse. I therefore hope that you consider my suggested design elements so that I won’t have to.

4 Votes | 1 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.),

Ergonomic Key Pad for Digital Artists & Creators

Mar 18, 2017

4 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

I noticed that Dell is attempting to foray into the Digital Artist field; the stylus for the Dell Canvas sporting Wacom tech, says to me that they're serious. What these Interactive Pen Displays lack - particularly the larger ones that take up more space - is a comfortable, efficient means of accessing a vast array tools and functions within a program. The Dell Canvas ships with the "totem" radial dial, but it doesn't strike me as ideal, and isn't viable on a vertically-mounted display. Even Wacom hasn't managed to release an outstanding solution; most professionals are partial to using keyboards, and neither the Wacom ExpressKey Remote, nor the buttons on the side of their Intuos & Cintiq tablets are effective at increasing workflow. I used a 27QHD cintiq for a year, with my keyboard awkwardly on my lap (lack of space), and used the ExpressKey Remote for the first two days before never touching it again. What Digital Artists need is a specially-designed "Gaming Pad". I've been using a Logitech G13 for the past year, and it's such an amazing difference; I'm 85% confident that it would be a roaring success, and if I had the skills to design a prototype and the necessary drivers myself, then I'd be on Kickstarter right now. While I'm content to go on using the G13, with the knowledge that it could be so much better, I'd love to see the concept pushed to the next level. If the G13 had two analog sticks (one customizable, and one that instantly snaps to the directional Hue), and a touch strip (similar to those on the Cintiq 24HD), it would be incredibly efficient, and drastically improve workflow. The overall position of the upper keys on the G13 is very comfortable, so I'd take that layout into consideration and adapt it to be more suitable. Here's a quick example of what I mean And here's how I have mine configured: (I'm about 2 buttons short; 4 at the bottom right would've been perfect). It's targetted at gamers, but accidentally caters extremely well to professional creators. Someone definitely needs to capitalize on that.     tl;dr - build a custom Gaming Pad accessory, designed for professional artists. Set the drivers up to support changing of Hue & Brightness using an Analog Stick & Touch Strip. Give it 30+ customizable buttons and TWO analog sticks(or an up-left/down-right facing toggle fin - important to have something more than just 1 analog). Succeed at something that every other company has failed to address for over a decade.

4 Votes | 5 Comments

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), IdeaStorm, New Product Ideas,

Facades for Dell/Alienware laptops

Mar 25, 2017

2 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

In the past, Dell offered a service where you could pay extra to have a design added to certain XPS laptops when you were configuring them for order.  Of course, if you're getting it as a gift for someone, or it gets damaged, the design you chose/created is really expensive to fix.What I propose is a pilot program where facades are created for different Dell/Alienware laptop models.  Facades would be like the faceplates made for the PS4; a pair of covers that clip onto the back of a laptop's display and the base, rather than a permanent customisation of its chassis.Since these are removeable at any time, they could be made of a thin, dense material that protects the laptop from scuffs and denting, but have designs from partnered artists, celebrate games, TV shows and movies, or just change the laptop's chassis colour.  More than that, if they got damaged, you could simply replace them instead of replacing the whole laptop.

2 Votes | 1 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), New Product Ideas,

Inertia reel into power supply

Jan 18, 2017

3 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

I tend to hot dek and carry my piower supply with me all the time. THe annoying thing about this is the way the power cable and power supply seem to be strabngers to one another. They have not been designed for purpose. So whay not look at incoproating a inertia reel or make it easier for users to wrap the cable round their power supply?Taking the idea further you could also consider including a way to dock the plug inton the power supply to keep it all secure and easy to pack and un pack.My thinkpad from ten years ago made it easy to coil the power cable to the supply yet my current model Latitude does not.

3 Votes | 4 Comments

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), IdeaStorm,

Coloured laptops

Dec 27, 2016

3 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

I am sending this message from my much-loved pink Inspiron 1545. Sadly, this is not a well laptop and is nearing the end of its useful life. I am not a technically-minded person so my key laptop requirement was: "Another pretty one, preferably pink or lilac."I have had to settle for a humdrum metal Dell laptop, allegedly Jingle Gold, but not particularly golden. My beautiful pink laptop has always been a talking point, why can't we still have lovely-looking laptops?

3 Votes | 0 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), Desktops and Laptops,

ELIMINATE built-in microphones and cameras

Mar 15, 2017

2 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

Add a microUSB or USB-C plug on top of notebook displays and monitors, and sell a separate, flexible little accessory with camera and microphones to plug in, WHEN DESIRED.  Delete 'built in' cameras and microphones and other sensors.Most times, built-in cameras and microphones are INSECURE.  Otherwise, a physical switch to visibly, physically disconnect such devices.Similarly, even for tablets, these sensors should be plug & play, not hard-wired into the hardware.  Include any 'GPS' along with external accessories.  Make it slim and flush, but make it possible to make it GO AWAY.A little camera and two stereo microphones, even molded to cute character shapes can be trivially plugged in for the one time in thousands that you want to 'teleconference', and it can be absent all the other times when it's possible for leaky, daily-compromised operating systems and software to grant access to creeps. 

2 Votes | 2 Comments

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), Desktops and Laptops, Mobile Devices,

port pluggers

Feb 3, 2017

2 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

I was thinking it would be a good idea to put little covers on the ports of a (laptop or tower)computer to keep things out of them.  I saw a man picking some little item out of his usb port that was blocking his plug from going into the slot. Then I thought it would be advantageous to have a little plug like they have on your cell phone to keep things out of the ports.I do agree to your terms, but, It would be nice if you like my suggestion and use it to get some sort of monetary compensation.

2 Votes | 0 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), Desktops and Laptops, New Product Ideas,

External mobile/portable GPU

Jan 18, 2017

2 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

Motivation:Everybody knows it: We would like to have a decent ultrabook with long battery life, high portability and sleek design like an XPS-13. On the other hand, sometimes we need a bit more juice to play games or do some photo or video editing. However, nobody wants to buy multiple maschines, right? Moreover, if you travel a lot, this is not an option either. You would not take two laptops with you on the plane, would you? I find myself often in the situation that I stay in a place for a few weeks or months before coming back home. Thus, I have to decide whether I carry a 15 inch laptop with me to work every day or if I prefer the 13 inch more portable solution. In the latter case, gaming and video editing is virtually impossible and photo editing a pain in th a... Idea:Make an external GPU solution similar to the Razer Core. However, do not put a Desktop-GPU in there but a Laptop-GPU. This way, you can keep it small and portable. I guess something in between a 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch external hard drive should be the right size. Also, I do not expect that thing to be upgradable like the Core. To get it small and mostly noise-free a custom design is required. So I am totally fine with buying a new one every other year. It should look nice and sleek, though.Extras:I would recommend combining the device with some other functionality content creators typically need in order to further increase its value. Therefore, it should definitely have a build-in card reader and usb hub. Also, since it is a GPU, of course a displayport and maybe hdmi are essential. I could further imagine, though this might be a pro version, offering internal flash storage. Ethernet might also be nice to have. In any way, those additional features should not compromise the portability of the device. If it doesn't fit in my hand-lauggage with my xps-13, my camera and a few lenses, it is too large.

2 Votes | 0 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), Desktops and Laptops, Mobile Devices,

Dell Inspiron 7459 AIO: help avoiding unexpected shutowns by visualizing power state better

Jan 17, 2017

2 Votes

Status: Acknowledged

Several unexpected shutdowns happen because I cannot, without peering around the corner, see the power-sleep-state button on the right side of the Dell 7459 AIO monitor.   Could this problem be avoided by putting a visible power state notice on the screen? Apart from this disadvantage the Dell Inspiron 7459 AIO computer works perfectly and is more than sufficient for my needs.AAXMAN

2 Votes | 1 Comment

Categories: Accessories (Keyboards, etc.), Desktops and Laptops, IdeaStorm,

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