Mouse for 3-D Navigation
The computer mouse was designed to control a pointer on a 2-D desktop, not to navigate virtual worlds like Second Life or other 3-D environments. 3Dconnexion’s new controller has a cap you can lift or depress, slide from side to side, tilt, or twist, and some combination of those actions will let you move in any direction in a 3-D environment or manipulate 3-D objects. And because the device is pressure sensitive, it also lets you control rate of movement.
In April, Linden Lab’s Second Life upgraded its software to support the year-old Space Navigator, which also works with about 130 other applications, including Google Earth. Intended to supplement an ordinary mouse, the Space Navigator frees the user from having to switch back and forth from mouse to keyboard, thereby avoiding stops and starts that can be awkward when navigating a 3-D space. The user controls movement through the Space Navigator with his nondominant hand and employs the regular mouse to take actions within the space. This device system works particularly well with Second Life’s recent support for voice communication, which, combined with the Space Navigator, makes it possible for a user to move and interact within the virtual world without having to utilize the keyboard at all.
Credit: Joshua Scott
Product: Space Navigator PE 3D Mouse
Other products in this section:
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
Video: Geoffrey Hinton talks about the “existential threat” of AI
Watch Hinton speak with Will Douglas Heaven, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for AI, at EmTech Digital.
Doctors have performed brain surgery on a fetus in one of the first operations of its kind
A baby girl who developed a life-threatening brain condition was successfully treated before she was born—and is now a healthy seven-week-old.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.