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Modding Nokia Cameraphone To Be Mouse 89

Posted by Hemos
from the one-less-thing-in-my-backpack dept.
ozg333 writes "This guy had the very clever idea of modding a Nokia mobile phone to work as a mouse by using the built in camera. It uses the phone's built-in Bluetooth to link to the PC, so cool! There is also a video of it in action. I can't wait to get one of these, it would mean one less device to carry when I'm travelling."
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Modding Nokia Cameraphone To Be Mouse

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Next is a Wireless Mouse to Cameraphone
  • "It uses the phone's built-in Bluetooth to link to the PC, so cool!"

    First time I've seen "dumb" spelled "c-o-o-l".

    • You obviosly haven't seen what people say about MySpace...
    • First time I've seen "dumb" spelled "c-o-o-l".

      Dude! this _is_ cool. I have a tendency to put my phone on the desk right near my mouse. I can't tell you the number of times I've reached over for the mouse without really looking and grabbed the phone by mistake.

      Other features:

      -No extra mouse when you travel - saves weight
      -No extra dongle for your wireless mouse (assuming you have laptop with built-in bluetooth)
      -You can take a call and at the same time rub your head against the wall to use the mouse. I'm c
      • >People will gawk at you in the board room.

        That's a bug, not a feature.
      • Other "features"
        - Look freaking stupid, pretty much all the time.
        - Wasting the battery of an important piece of communications equipment that most people require for normal daily routine.
        - Cramps and sore fingers from holding tiny phone between thumb and forfinger (look at tfa)
        - Annoying static every time you get a phonecall or a sms.
        - People talking about your mouse on slashdot,

        It's a fun premise, but the only real reason someone would do it was "because they can". In reality, it'd be much easier ju

      • And you end up with a mouse with at least 23 buttons (from photos and description) and the possibly ability to pick it up and use it for voice recognition: "Hello, Computer."

        Apply the other mod used with a real mouse and turn it into a color hand scanner (after applying a corrective lens cover to fix the close-focus problem). And use it as your modem for connectivity on the road (one of the reasons why your phone would be nearby).

        Con: mouse abuse breaks an expensive phone and service contract.
    • It's NOT about the BATTERY! It's about the clever idea. Yeah, people didn't make the first computer while they were afraid of wasting bulbs. I was amazed by this guy's work. It's creative engineering. I would personally challenge anyone here to do something like this and get on SlashDot. It's weird that people just like "this is normal, shouldn't be on slashdot" Well, that person shoudln't comment either because his/ her idea is not worth enough to get on /. The idea of the camera phone + mouse is
      • A dumb idea is still a dumb idea.

        1. "How about a retractable USB cable to connect to the computer instead of bluetooth?"

          Ever use "retractable" cables? Didn't think so ... they're a real pain in the ass. Another dumb idea.

        2. "And how many geeks will seriously have a legitimate reason to invest in a new and "high-res" phone."

          If you had bothered to actually read the article, you'd have known that one of the problems is that NO camera phone can focus properly at such a short distance, so fsck the hi-res. T

  • DIY Project? (Score:2, Insightful)

    This might seem interesting as a DIY project, but it's a quite worthless gadget, while neat that it's possible, it shouldn't be big news.
    • ... it's a quite worthless gadget, while neat that it's possible, it shouldn't be big news.

      You must be new here.
      • by lytles (24756)
        i sit at work with my cell sitting on the table next to the mouse. i mostly use the keyboard, and tend to reach to the mouse to click a button without looking at it. several times I've tried to move the mouse without the pointer moving for a few seconds, only to realize that I reached for the phone instead.

        i guess i'm not the only one.
      • Re:DIY Project? (Score:3, Informative)

        by andrewman327 (635952)
        You must be new here.

        Considering he is #861941, he is actually is pretty new here.


        Back on topic: I really do not want to drag my cell phone back and forth across a desk. Also, if I am on a trip and end up using my computer for an extended period of time, I want something that is a bit more ergonomic. A phone is designed to be held close to the head, not horizontally and in front of you.

    • I say it's worthy of a slashdotting. Just because it's not "Man uses Nokia cell phone to cure cancer" doesn't mean a million geeks wouldn't find it interesting...

      Or am I fishing too much for the slashdot of yore...

      Anyone that wants to compose a limerick in regards to the slashdot of yore, have at it...
      • Huzzah for the slashdot of yore,
        Where ne'er was there a bore,
        but then came a dupe-
        (something that rhymes with dupe),
        and following that came some more
      • by Ryz0r (849412)
        Anyone that wants to compose a limerick in regards to the slashdot of yore, have at it...

        I once browsed the Slashdot of yore,
        The comments insightful and more;
        But now all they be,
        Are links to goatse;
        And n00bs pwning j00 with dual c0re!

        I'm so sorry.

      • While browsing my work time away
        On slashdot one fine August day
        a limerick I bore
        about slashdot of yore
        lost fr1st p0st to the GNAA! :(


        Don't kill me, please. *ducks*

      • There once was a girl on Slashdot Who'd talk dirty to make the geeks hot. She would speak 733T, to the guys in heat. They never guessed that she was only a spambot.
        • Gaah... that'll teach me not to preview.

          There once was a girl on Slashdot
          Who'd talk dirty to make the geeks hot.
          In those days of yore,
          the guys tried to score,
          Not knowing that she was only a spambot
  • battery life (Score:4, Informative)

    by Speare (84249) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:34PM (#15895076) Homepage Journal
    Boy, and I thought my 2xAAA bluetooth optical mouse had a short battery life! The CCD sensors are only intended for bursts of a few seconds, not for continuous clicky-draggy mouse motions. They chew up a large amount of battery power to amplify extremely small amounts of incoming light signal into usable pixel values.
    • Re:battery life (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:36PM (#15895084) Journal
      Not only that, but you have to hold it above your mouse pad, not in actual contact.

      "Light is needed. My temporary solution is to hold the phone about .6cm above the pad, letting light in the side. My camera picks up enough to see at this distance."

      • Next up- mod the phone so that pressing a button illuminates a LED in very close proximity to the camera.

        I'm betting it has to be held up a slight bit just to allow the light in (and no, I didn't read the full text of the article, but I did notice whomever was moving it was keeping it above the pad)
        • That's what the article said ... and using an LED would just further drain the batter ... so then you're stuck with a dead phone ane no mouse.
    • hmmmm so then it will be really nice when the induction charging pads are supported... ie: use the phone for a mouse on the pad and charge it at the same time....
  • Fake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tliet (167733) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:36PM (#15895086)
    What a joker. This is as fake as it can be. The video shows Windows and then it shows him moving his phone about.
    • Re:Fake (Score:2, Interesting)

      by junglee_iitk (651040)
      I for one second that! While he is moving the windows, my guess is that he should be pressing some button (to imitate Left-Click of mouse), which he is not!
      • >While he is moving the windows, my guess is that he should be pressing some button (to imitate Left-Click of mouse), which he is not!

        That doesn't say anyhting. A 2-line VB/C++ program can lock the left mouse button using mouse_event().
  • by Khakionion (544166) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:38PM (#15895092)
    ...is a total flame, typical of a Microsoftie who expects to jump headfirst into Slackware/Gentoo and understand everything in a week. When he doesn't, it's the fault of "the community."

    What a tool. [pyrofersprojects.com]
    • Follow that link and mod parent up... His views on windows vs. linux are just as skewed as many fanboys are, but it's almost sad... A whole page of flaming, it looks like slashdot on friday night!
    • I remember when I jumped into Linux just about 2 and a half years ago...

      I can honestly say I rarely had problems, and what problems I did have I could eventually figure out what I could do to fix it or get around it.

      After reading what he had written, he is a dolt. I actually feel stupider after reading it. And, as a web developer, I feel he should never enter the market with a page such as his.
    • Hes takes his points a bit too far but he brings up good points about learning linux. Let me first say that learning windows is not easy, but the key thing here is that there are billions of people who know how to use it. When you switch from windows to linux there are quite a few annoying things that keep windows users from converting.

      One of the things i think he was correct about was the directory structure. Although it is probably a better system to have so many predefined folders it is confusing to a
      • Have you visited the Ubuntu forums lately? Not to sound fanboi (I am), but there are so many helpful, friendly people there, it's really amazing. Sure, they expect you to at least have a google at your problem yourself, but why is that bad?

        Yes, there are people who will say you are stupid. Sometimes, they're even right. But if they aren't, you could just ignore them and listen to the 10 other people who actually provide a helpful answer.
  • by 56ker (566853) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:45PM (#15895112) Homepage Journal
    The combination of having to hold it 0.6cm above a surface, plus the generally poor battery life of cameraphones makes it a little impractical for normal use.

    Although kudos to them for writing the software to do this.
  • travelling? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "I can't wait to get one of these, it would mean one less device to carry when I'm travelling" ... between home and school.
  • I've just thought of something. If they used it on a glass table would the ambient light or perhaps a light shone at the mouse be enough not to have to "hover" it above a surface?

    • If they used it on a glass table would the ambient light or perhaps a light shone at the mouse be enough not to have to "hover" it above a surface?

      I think I'd prefer to carry a real mouse when I'm travelling rather than a glass table :)
  • You get or need to make a call and... you want to use your computer while talking on your PHONE?

    Basically its the same problem as when trying to use your phone as a PDA: Talk or type (or retrieve) but can't do both at the same time.

    Forget about battery life. Answer me this either/or question first.
  • Watch your productivity soar as you program simple three-key combinations to bring up your favorite Windows function.

    To remember which is which, you can just put a yellow Post-It note over the phone's LCD screen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:53PM (#15895155)
    ..and converted my Rowenta steam iron into a mouse so I could surf
    while getting the creases out of my shirts. The phone mod didn't work
    out so good though, someone called me up and I burned half my right ear
    off.
  • sounds cool but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jackjeff (955699)
    This is a cool hack, but i don't think it is "that" useful to replace a "laptop mouse".

    Laptops have builtin trackpads... I assume people who use a mouse because
    1) they need a more precise + ergonomic device than the trackpad.
    2) have a shitty trackpad on their computer.

    In both cases, I wonder if my Nokia phone is really an improvement for problem 1 or 2...

    The only "useful" application is to show of in front of your friends :)
  • As I am A Real Man, I would plug my digital video camera into my computer by firewire, and use it as a mouse. Better res, and way more manly to hold a 1.68 lb camera and power cables and my assorted arm weights 5 centimeters above the table.

    It dosen't have programmable buttons. Oh well, the ones below my laptop's touchpad will do.
  • Negative comments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vasanth (908280) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @02:02PM (#15895182)
    I see a lot of negative comments here... what ppl fail to understand is that it is not meant to be a practical solution but a project for the sake of doing it... I enjoy working on small projects in my spare time which do not actually solve anything but just keeps me engaged and the stuff this guy done is cool from that perspective..
  • by Tx (96709) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @02:16PM (#15895220) Journal
    You may recall this article [slashdot.org], about guy turning his optical mouse into an imaging device. Now here we have another guy who wants to turn his imaging device into an optical mouse. Pity they didn't just think of doing a swap, eh? ;)
    • You may recall this article, about guy turning his optical mouse into an imaging device. Now here we have another guy who wants to turn his imaging device into an optical mouse. Pity they didn't just think of doing a swap, eh? ;)

      We could also give up and building our own computers to write OSS software on, go to an electronics store to buy some Voleware and a Dell box and have loads of new free time to go bowling or to play golf but that would kind of take the fun out of being a nerd.
    • Or how about the mouse-embedded screen [hackaday.com]. Kinda hard to watch DVDs on.
  • by stefanb (21140) * on Saturday August 12, 2006 @02:44PM (#15895301) Homepage

    This sounds like a really cool hack, but I don't believe a word of it.

    I just took a sample shot with my 6230, and at 1cm, a printed page with 12pt courier on it shows essentially no structure at all, it's all too blurred. At closer range, the body blocks too much light for the camera to aquire anything. My wooden desk and various other things also didn't give any discernible shapes. Looking at the video and the mouse pad, I doubt the camera would see anything at all.

    Even if it is possible to properly track the blobs, I doubt that you'll get high resolution from the typical phone camera. I believe typical optical mice have a resolution between 500 and 2000 dpi, and given the typical 640x480 resolution, you'd need optics to focus the camera on a rather small spot. The mice have these optics, the cameras won't (they're usually wide angle).

  • by palmnet (842023)
    Im not to sure, he never shows the phone and pointer moving in step, but the buttons on the side of the phone where he has his fingers in the video throw off the "He couldnt click because he didnt have his fingers on buttons" claim to fakery. Anyway, major kudos if its real, if not, then someone make it real!
  • It's not supposed to be practical: it's just a cool hack.
  • by oskugbg (802850)
    Ii's sooooo fake! How the f**k could the phone see anything? It's completely dark under its lens. Bullshit!!!! FAKE!!
    • Re:Nokia (Score:2, Informative)

      by palmnet (842023)
      Erm, I just got my Nokia 6220 which is an older model to his phone, and the camera on it sucks ass, but I could easily make out my keyboard letters at less than his recomended 0.6cm And even when it was really faint you could track the direction of movement quite easily, wether a java program could do that though is up for debate.
  • They show a screen with a window moving. Then show the camea by itself moving to the side of the monitor. Never do they show the two at the same time. I could have made this video and swapped out the camera for the mouse before the camera showed anything.
  • "...it would mean one less device to carry when I'm travelling."

    How about, you know, just not carrying a mouse every damn where you go?
  • I have been waiting for a couple years now for someone to put an optical mouse pickup on the back of a pda or a celphone as part of the user interface. I am surprised it has not been done yet, but maybe this slashdot topic got a few more engineers thinking.

    A common objection is that the screen moving around as you drag the device would make it unusable, but most people do not move the mouse that far when navigating, so the eye should have no trouble tracking on the screen.

    • seriously, give us some more options. There hasn't been a new najor feature on a phone in a couple of years it seems. Living in bandwidth starved SC prevents me from experiencing the joys of evdo, but while I'm waiting, give me a full blown gps receiver and navigation on my Treo from the factory (got mine running TomTom w/ cable GPS, but a bit of a pain), along with functioning TV remote software, wifi (for crying out loud) and a projector for my snappy P'Points. And when the hell is Skype going to suppo
  • but concluded that it was impossible to do. Maybe the best solution would be for some mobile maker, just to shove an extra LED into one of their handsets and flog it as working as a BT mouse?
    I mean how much extra could that possibly cost - and it'd definitely be one less thing to shove into my laptop bag (which is always a good thing).
    Another thing on my wish list is just an extendible prong I could flick out of my phone that goes into a USB socket (not a proper usb, just a board with contacts on it, you
  • It is in some connection... this game for a mobile phone i know named wabbellab here http://people.freenet.de/hskopp/wabbellab.html [freenet.de] using tha phone camera you move the ball on the screen & you get the 'gravity effect'. It is somewhat buggy on my nokia but it generally works...
  • by Pop69 (700500) <.ku.oc.ytraneb. .ta. .yllib.> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @04:45AM (#15897594) Homepage
    My Sony Erickson K750i has this built in to it.

    Uses the joystick thingy on it to control the pointer over bluetooth.

    Why is it news that you have to use hacks on one phone to do something that is native on others ?
    • >My Sony Erickson K750i has this built in to it.
      >Uses the joystick thingy on it to control the pointer over bluetooth.
      >Why is it news that you have to use hacks on one phone to do something that is native on others ?

      Because this isn't about using the joystick to control the pointer through bluetooth, but the camera. Quite a difference..
  • by drzut (995006)
    so this is my offer: ONLY 5 (Source Code included).
    http://stud3.tuwien.ac.at/~e0125565/DSCN1147.MOV [tuwien.ac.at]

    and on top of this 11 FREE cigs are included. :))
    • Now that is Impressive, you even managed to emulate the same mouse pad! That tops everything. But at least you now understand how its hard to co-ordinate filming with your left hand while doing stuff with your right. No wonder the video doesnt show them both at once, its hard enough to line it up at all without the viewfinder near your eye.

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