Variable Friction Mouse

We’ve had velocity sensitive mice for years, the principle is simple – the faster you move your hand the faster the pointer accelerates, giving the faux virtual world of the computer a real world feel…

What I’m proposing is a reversal of the concept: The mouse should have a behaviour that is relevant to the contents of the file or folder being moved. A small file or folder should therefore have little resistance and can be readily moved. A larger file should have weight  if we are to continue with our real world analogy. Large things are heavy, and big file should be so too.

If our mouse offers resistance according to the size of the file being moved there is much less chance of accidentally deleting a huge group of files in one go.

We can also extend our concept further, resistance can be associated with significance. If we add virtual weight to things of significance, even though that may be a physically small file, the required effort to move it will give us feedback of their importance.

Equally, troublesome or “tricksy” elements in the real world have a tendancy to get away from us – think about the act of chasing a marble across a wooden floor. Therefore an Excel spreadsheet of our tax return could be given almost zero resistance so we feel like we are chasing it around the desktop, a metaphor for the real life experience.

This of course may be all nonsense…

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