Motix wants to replace your mouse with fine-tuned finger pointing

I’m a sucker for motion controls. From Leap Motion and Kinect games to industrial-level tools made by minds behind Minority Report’s interface, if it’s an attempt to kill mouse, I want to try it.

The Motix is trying to follow the same footsteps. The system is one part motion sensor (placed near the back of your keyboard) and one part tactile strip (placed just under your spacebar) compatible with both Windows and OS X. The idea is this: put one thumb the pad and use a finger to control the mouse without having to move your hand from the keyboard. You can adjust the sensitivity of the finger by moving your thumb left or right on the strip.

THERE’S DEFINITELY A LEARNING CURVE

In theory, that’s great. In practice, it’s a bit wonky. It took about five minutes to get a handle of the broader strokes. That’s to be expected; unlike Leap Motion, the Motix is designed for smaller, more precise finger movements. There’s also an element of being able to keep your finger still and mid-air while you use the thumb on your other hand to “tap” the strip to simulate a mouse click.

It requires calibration to use properly, and the size of your hands is a factor in how comfortable or effective you’ll be. I watched creator Brent Safer pinpoint exact lines in a Microsoft Word document, while at best I could select apps from the home screen.

I’m hopeful for the Motix, but if want to give it a shot, know ahead of time you’ll have to put some time into getting the hang of it. Safer says the software will evolve over time; the hardware will be available starting next month for $119.99.

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