Design and development of Dream-Mouse is complete and it will be CE tested in November at Staffordshire University. Dream-Mouse is the third product we have worked on for folks with physical disabilities and we are very satisfied with the way it has come together.
At the start of the development we incorporated the same motion sensing electronics into Dream-Mouse as is used in both Dream-Racer and Dream-Gamer. The electronics capture head movements to control position of the cursor on the PC screen. But we’ve gone further; we realised we could use the same motion sensors in a hand grip that may be preferred by some users. We call these two options Cap-Mouse and Pistol-Mouse.
My personal favorite is Mini-Mouse. Effectively it is a mini joystick controlled by a single finger or thumb. Users have the option of holding it in either hand or it can be secured in a mounting bracket attached by Velcro to any flat surface – this eliminates the need to hold Mini-Mouse at the same time as using it. It works a treat! I’m sure we will incorporate the mini joystick concept into new concepts.
These three products give disabled users different options to accessing and controlling a PC with Dream-Mouse.
Cap-Mouse – uses head movement.
Pistol-Mouse – uses large-scale hand and wrist movement.
Mini-Mouse – requires small-scale finger or thumb movement on the mini joystick to control the PC cursor.
These three options connect into the control box which then connects to the PC via a USB cable. Connecting Dream-Mouse to the PC is easy. Plug the USB cable into the PC and MS Windows makes it ready for use.
Built into the control box are four, standard 3.5 mm, jack sockets to allow users to connect switches into Dream-Mouse. Any standard switch can be attached and, under software control, programmed to perform specific functions such as “left click”, ”right click”, ”double click”, “enter” etc. The Joystick-To-Mouse software, supplied with all Dream-Mouse configurations, takes care of the switches.
When the testing is complete we will ask our friends at Remploy Coventry to begin production.
I’ll be writing more about Dream-Mouse in the coming weeks and the newest idea we have: Dream-Wand.
One major benefit we have already experienced is the elimination of ~6 metres of cable-spaghetti any multiple switch user has to cope with in their work space.
Dream-Wand can also be connected into the Dream-Racer radio transmitter to steer the racing car, truck or boat.
In effect Dream-Wand is a universal four switch stick that will connect to any device equipped with standard 3.5 mm jack sockets.
Personally, I also think it looks good – a bit more stylish than many standard switches – and may well appeal to older children and young adults.