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Ergonomic Software Eliminates Mouse Clicking 141

ThinSkin writes "GentleMouse is an ergonomic software program that eliminates the need to click the mouse by translating cursor movements into mouse actions, providing an easy way to perform mouse actions without manually pressing buttons or scrolling. ExtremeTech's review of the GentleMouse provides an in-depth look of this unusual software and was quite pleased with its "intuitive interface, execution, and software options" but the software "cannot overcome issues in certain apps where clicking a mouse is essential, such as when gaming or designing graphics." Here's a video tutorial of the GentleMouse in action."
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Ergonomic Software Eliminates Mouse Clicking

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  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @05:35PM (#18465143) Homepage Journal
    I like the look and the idea of the software, but I can't find a download link to click.
    • But the site is still (partially) functional: download [].

      At this rate I don't expect it to work much longer (or I applaud their tech).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This new mouse is easy and fun to use. Man, I love it so. All I have to say is wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
    • let me first say: My absolute apologies but you forced this:

      You Don't Mean to say.........

      Your Cursor's Foild Again!?
    • There are at least 2 other opensource autoclick programs for linux/windows since last 5 years. Don't remember the names right now. rsiguard has a trial for 30 days. very good if you have RSI.
    • I want to download it too !

      Doing complex gestures with the pointer is just so much more convenient than having to press one damn single button !
  • It's one of the things I'm good at! If someone managed to do away with it I'd just get a mouse with a non-functioning mouse button just for laughs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tsiangkun ( 746511 )
      my name is tsiangkun and I'm a habitual mouse clicker too.
      In the old days, I would tap my pencil or chew on a pen cap
      when I was thinking through a problem or just wasting time.
      In the digital age, clicking the mouse repeatedly and
      rapidly is my new vice. I need help, and admission is the first

    • If someone managed to do away with it I'd just get a mouse with a non-functioning mouse button just for laughs.

      Apple will probably be the first to make one. It seems like just the kind of thing they would have loved to come up with first.

      (Disclaimer: I've been using and loving Macs since 1987)

    • If I had to use a mouse and didn't have a button to click, I don't even want to know what I would do.
  • Finally someone solved this problem. Index fingers rejoice!
  • crapola (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2007 @05:42PM (#18465191)
    Yeah, mouse gestures are so great. Nothing like some piece of crap software randomly interfering with what you are trying to do.
    • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
      In fact... how much I hated mice when they come to the market...
      I was fine running programs from my prompt. Now that I finally got used to clicking here and there, they say there is no click anymore...
      What is coming next? No mouse?

      Revolutionary software removes the need of clicks... it translates "enter" into left click and "esc" into right click! (Sounds like an Apple marketing strategy).
    • by FFFish ( 7567 )
      So sad you've got Parkinson's. That really sucks. Good thing you are not forced to use mouse gestures!

      Back when I used mouse instead of touchpad, mouse gestures were terrific. I love 'em. Will I still love them when they're sixty-four? Maybe not.
    • Mouse gestures have been around for a long while - I first remember them as a plugin for Firefox, but I'm sure they are older than that. Why is it that it takes some big wanker company to say "look at me, look at my bright idea all you dumb media n00bs" to get something publicised.

      That said, I make sure to disable gestures - who wants a slight movement of the mouse to cause a click, or worse. Mouse gestures are dumb.
    • Yeah, mouse gestures are so great. Nothing like some piece of crap software randomly interfering with what you are trying to do.

      My mom has severe arthritis in her hands. Clicking is painful. Drag and drop just doesn't work. She was an executive secretary for 20 years and could type gawd-awful fast, but these days it is painful enough that navigating the keyboard for shortcuts is pretty slow and frustrating. For her, mouse gestures are the best way to use her computer, but none of the existing software that we have found really fills her needs (drag and drop is pretty difficult). I can't get to the website (slashdotted?), but I

  • Have a look here: []
  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @05:45PM (#18465221)
    The problem with the typical user-computer interface paradigm is that we have to use a mouse at all (save game playing and graphics design). Moving my hand from the home position every time I need the precision of a mouse pointer is a huge annoyance and waste of time and effort. More so than pushing my index finger down.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      While I agree with you, I think this could be rather interesting for palmtops and such.
      The thing that annoys me with those touch pens is being able to do a click and try not to break the screen at the same time.
    • by an.echte.trilingue ( 1063180 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:00PM (#18465417) Homepage

      The problem with the typical user-computer interface paradigm is that we have to use a mouse at all (save game playing and graphics design). Moving my hand from the home position every time I need the precision of a mouse pointer is a huge annoyance and waste of time and effort. More so than pushing my index finger down.
      Every DE I know of of allows for pretty fast keyboard maneuver around the screen. The fact that so few people bother to learn to use it speaks volumes in favor of the utility of a mouse, I think.

      It is an ingrained thought process in humans to see, reach and grab. The mouse translates this to the computer interface: we see something we want, we "reach" to it with the pointer, and we "grab" by clicking on it. I think it works pretty well, except for those unfortunate enough to have a physical disability such as arthritis.

    • Thankfully that paradigm is entirely optional. With a healthy mix of CLI and curses apps, and a keyboard-driven window manager like ratpoison, your mouse will be collecting dust and wasting your desk-space in no time. Games? Check: gnuchess. Graphic design? Check: Image Magick.
    • So learn to use a proper CLI [] and solve your problem.

      Alternatively, popular GUI's (Windows most of all) allow you to control virtually everything with the keyboard.

      And for those who really passionately hate the mouse, or can't use it for some other reason, there's something called MouseKeys [] that you can turn on to move the pointer with the keyboard.

    • I've got this really nifty TrackPoint keyboard thing. My "mouse" is between my G, B, and H keys. My fingers NEVER have to leave the home-row. Its great. And the buttons are right below the spacebar, for easy clicking. Of course, the better solution is to not use software that requires that clicking thing anyway.
    • There's no problem with the development of user interfaces. Pointy-clicky and large colorful buttons are what the people want. Using the keyboard requires remembering things, which we all know is just far too much work for the average end-user who still can't tell the difference between memory and disk space.
    • Thinkpad users can keep their fingers in position.
      There is a desktop solution available, too: []
      No one ever got fired for buying Lenovo. Or something like that...
  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @05:50PM (#18465283)
    The GentleMouse II - This next gen mouse will not only click the button and scroll for you, but it will automatically move the mouse pointer for you. You don't even have to touch the mouse. Works with the Honeywell Internal Viteous Eye Sensor (sensor and implantation surgery sold separately). Leaves hands free for interweb pr0n.

    The GentleMouse GX - You not only don't have to touch the mouse, you don't have to even be near the computer thanks to the new DARPA MindLink WaveSender Interface (Majestic Ultra DOD security rating required and available separately). Now you fat lazy bastards don't even have to get out of bed!

    The GentleMouse EXTREME! - The entire computer is just an neurochemical overlay in your brain. Perfect for coma patients, or people who wish they were in a coma. Your subconscious mind does all the work without any intrustion into conscious awareness. You'll just have to trust us that it's working.
    • For the consumer on a budget, The GentleMouse EZ. Any mouse click or motion shuts the computer off, saving you not only the energy of clicking but also of moving the mouse. Now go outside!
  • It's not that new (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WPL510 ( 196237 )
    Reminds me of Optimoz or Sensiva; both are mouse gesture programs that have been around for years. (Optimoz being a browser extension for firefox) Fun stuff, though not actually very new.
    • While it's a form of mouse gesture software, the innovation seems to be that you don't click the mouse to notify the software you want to make a gesture. You wait for a hover overlay to appear. Ouch.

      I've been totally addicted to Opera's mouse gestures since their first introduction, installed Optimoz near its inception and have used StrokeIt since I discovered it ... but I'm not sure that GentleMouse is exactly what I want.

  • Well, it's not for everyone, that's for sure. I've gotten really interested in mouse gestures of late though, especially on the touchpad for my laptop. It has a "Click-lock" feature which allows me to click and drag using only the touchpad. The gesture took a little bit of effort, and it's certainly not for little stubby fingers, but totally worth it. I love having an ultra-sensitive touchpad, and the addition of this gesture allows me to avoid the clumsiness of holding down the button with my thumb while d
  • OMG (Score:5, Funny)

    by Brad1138 ( 590148 ) * <> on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:01PM (#18465429)
    eliminates the need to click the mouse

    We have hit an all new low on the laziness scale.
  • by asadodetira ( 664509 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:08PM (#18465487) Homepage
    Nice, but the motion seems more complicated than just clicking.
    In my opinion the perfect input device should not have moving parts, just two microphones. Here's a description of a purely acoustic keyboard. undkey.htm []LINK
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swilver ( 617741 )

      Costly to design and manufacture

      They can't be serious... I use keyboards which cost me $5, costly? My ass. These keyboards will last for years, and basically I dispose of them when I cannot be bothered to clean them anymore. I don't buy into the wireless crap, or the crap keyboards with 15 extra buttons and an integrated calculator I don't need.

      Furthermore, this system has the same problems as voice-input -- it can do silly things if other stuff is going in the room. It doesn't seem to allow for you

    • You know, there is a laser keyboard being sold.
    • Think geek sells the "Laser" [] keyboard.

      Unfortunately, without tactile feedback as to the position of your fingers on the keys, it's pretty easy to get lost. You use the edges of the keys to calibrate your fingers on a moment-to-moment basis, even if you don't realize it. And the deceleration of a rubber mat is a lot more forgiving on your fingers than tapping away on a cheap particle board desktop.

      So it's a good idea, but in practice it falls a little short.
  • This is nasty! My computer just learned how to "double click its mouse".
  • Finally, these [] can be useful!

    Oh wait, it only runs on Windows.
  • RSI? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PresidentEnder ( 849024 ) <wyvernender@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:27PM (#18465683) Journal
    I've never experienced aches or pains from a mouse. Then again, I'm 19. Still, carpal tunnel, arthritis, and RSI seem much more reasonable from the motions necessary to press the keys on the old-style clicky keyboard that I use than the miniscule mouse-click movement. Not that I'm trying to troll; I'm curious. Has anyone here ever gotten repetitive-stress injuries from clicking a mouse? Wouldn't typing the y, h, and d keys kill your finger much quicker?
    • by sehlat ( 180760 )
      Short Answer is "Yes." I had surgery two weeks ago for carpal tunnel resulting from mouse usage. The problem isn't clicking the mouse, it's putting the wrists in a pronated position for long periods of time. I'm currently investigating mouse and keyboard alternatives that don't require me to keep my wrists twisted into the horizontal.
      • If you can hold a pen or pencil without pain I strongly suggest throwing out your mouse and getting a Wacom tablet. You'll have to give up FPSs but everything else will be great.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Peganthyrus ( 713645 )
      Back around 2000 or 2001, my right index finger decided 'clicking is bad'. I put part of the blame on me starting to use Flash back then: the easiest way to get into a symbol to tweak it is to double-click on it. This is a common task, so my double-clicking went up a lot. Or it may have just been years of mousing around coming home to roost; I dunno.

      I tried more 'ergonomic' mice for a while and the pain I'd feel every time I clicked lessened. Four buttons mapped to click, double-click, click-toggle, and rig
    • Obviously you've never played Diablo.
    • Well, you should ask the Starcraft players that hit 250 actions per minute using just the mouse.

      AFAIK they're doing fine. On the other hand, they can spend $100 on a mouse, and are not using el-cheapo brands.

      In my experience the mouse shape and quality are very decisive factors. I'm 29, I use a Logitech MX-500 and doing 120 clicks per minute during half an hour makes absolutely no impact on me. However using another mouse just for Web browsing makes me feel very uncomfortable very soon.

      To all the whiners:
    • For me, the mouse has always been one of the worst causes of any stiffness or pain in my hands or wrists. I think this is because you're hand and fingers have a much more reduced range of motion when it's stuck to the mouse.
  • ... because one-buttoned mice still are too complex...
  • The review doesn't even bother giving the system requirements, not telling us it's a Windows only utility.
    This really shows how Linux or Mac users are non-existent in the world of ExtremeTech.
    Nothing to see here, move along.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      That's because it's only really an issue for Windows. On linux, one already has "an ergonomic software program that eliminates the need to click the mouse". It's called *vi* or emacs. OSX comes with both, too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AaxelB ( 1034884 )
      From TFA:

      GentleMouse is so far available only to Windows users - excluding Vista. Mac users can expect to see something available later this year.
      Try reading.
      • by mehgul ( 654410 )
        Sorry but no, I'm not reading a 4 page review of something that may or may not be useful to me if the author didn't even bother giving the requirements either in the beginning or in the summary at the end of the article. No way.
    • by mehgul ( 654410 )
      OK, my mistake, it says it's only for Windows. On the 3rd page of a 4 page review. Nothing about that on the first page, where the writer should try to get my interest (well apparently he didn't want to get my interest and he succeeded well enough), and especially, nothing in the summary on the last page.
  • "It's dead, Jim."
  • A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved
  • who tried to envision what the opposite of a "gentle" mouse would be?
  • sounds annoying. I'll take my extra clicking over having to waste time waiting.
  • As for the rest of us... how in the hell is this an improvement on clicking?
  • Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by tknd ( 979052 )
    Now Apple can justify selling computers that have mouses with no buttons.
  • Now why the hell would I want to see a menu pop-up everytime I hover my mouse pointer over something?

    "For that brief second while you hover over a link, a small transparent window pops up and displays a list of common click commands. You can select a command simply by moving the cursor over that desired command..."

  • There is a alternative to GentleMouse - it's ActiveClick and it's free! Why spend money...??? []

    If you go to the ActiveClick homepage - it gives you the serial # to unlock ActiveClick without paying for it.
    • There's mousetool [] and kmousetool [] too. And don't forget hit-a-hint [] for almost onehanded web browsing (use letters instead of numbers).
    • by dgec ( 988943 )
      Thanks for that link! I'm going to have to try it out For the doubters, yes, you most definitely CAN get injured from using the mouse button (and the wheel!) too much. I started getting shooting pains in my hand & wrist from using a web interface too much, after years of typing with no problems. I used the old MouseTool program for a long time that was similar, but work was stopped on it long ago (went from GPL to commercial before Y2K), and I'm not sure if it was the source for some of my computer's
  • Maybe I'm way off base, but I didn't think that clicking a mouse was really a huge cause of RSI... it seems like such a small motion.

    I suppose some people might find this software to be more comfortable, but as someone who moves around on their mouse and keyboard really quickly (People watching me use my computer tend to get confused and ask how the hell I have any idea what I'm doing), I doubt this would really help me that much.

    But hey, there's a lot of people out there, with a lot of different computer h
  • Trying to predict what a user is wanting to do is quite useless. Knowing what the user wants to do is what matters. Imagine moving the mouse out of the way so it wouldn't be in a website-embedded video. Oops! Nevermind! Since my mouse was over my other web browser, it brought it into focus. Try to move it back to focus the window? Oops, moved it over a link on the page, now I'm on

    Great idea, and toy, but I can't see it ever hitting mainstream. It would definitely have its uses for accessiblity a
  • Oh great... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So now you jerk the mouse around instead of slightly depressing a button with your finger?

    I click my mouse thousands of times per day and that's hardly a problem for my wrists. I get much more pain from typing, reading books or MOVING THE MOUSE AROUND.
  • this one made my life easier []
  • I think the idea of mouse gestures was implemented years ago. From what I remembered, it was called "glicks".
  • No more click fraud!
  • Computer users can click a mouse up to a thousand times on a full day... I guess they never played Poke the Bunny
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Poke the Bunny? I've never heard it called that before. I usually refer to it as "strangle the weasle"...
  • Finally an answer to the ever popular question of how to get people to click on advertisements.
  • This is a great idea, but in practice the majority of the RSI injuries I see come from the repetitive side to side motion made while dragging the mouse across the screen. In a traditional palm-down mouse, your radial and ulnar bones in your lower arm cross. This constricts the tendon sheaths, resulting in inflammation and eventually scarring.

    The ideal long term hand position is thumb-up...think of holding a joystick (does anyone remember those?). The bones doesnt cross, and you use stronger muscles to move
  • As a suffer of RSI type symptoms, I have found that simply using a mouse is painful and can bring on tingling/numbness through the posture and wrist movements alone. Clicking is only one part of the problem. In my case I was told my injury was likely to have been caused by constant left/right wrist movements and having the lower arm muscles in a tense state for long periods through simply gripping/moving the mouse.

    For me what has worked in minimising the symptoms and letting me be productive again was a Tab
  • Maybe I'm alone in this or something, but clicking the mouse doesn't hurt my wrists at all after 20 years of using computers. It's holding the mouse button down while moving the mouse that hurts.

    Even if I use a trackball, I get the same problem (but in a different area of the wrist).

    Either these people are way off the mark, or I am more unique than I'd like to be.
  • I got tired of repetitively moving my hand from the keyboard to the mouse, so I designed and build my own advanced keyboard that incorporates all the features and performance of a stand alone optical mouse. I call it the keyboard of the future.

    I have eliminated the stand-alone mouse.

    I can point, click, type, and scroll in any order simultaneously and instantly all from the home row.

    I can click and/or scroll with my fingers or use optional foot pedals to click.

    My keyboard gives you total and complete contro
  • that this won't actually improve my Minesweeper times.
  • Touchscreen (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @01:06PM (#18471427) Homepage Journal
    The mouse was a teaching aide to introduce users to the idea of moving the cursor on the screen the way they'd move a real object on their desk. Touchscreen tech was too crude in the early 1970s, or even in the 1980s, to introduce for direct pointing.

    But now it works. Over a decade of PDA touchscreens has funded R&D that can put a precise, stable point just above the fingernail or stylus of any user.

    Why do I have to use even a little trackpad in short strokes for indirect control of the cursor, when I could just point directly at that cursor? And why can't I use multiple fingers to describe lines, polygons, movement directions, multiple selections, and everything else I do with real objects on my real desktop?
  • Everytime I seen a new mouse solution come up, no one ever mentions trying a trackball. Yes, it still has click buttons (but from the demo it wasn't clear to me how exactly you popped up the windows and didn't pick the wrong one), but all the movement is with one finger and no wrist movement.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire