Mouseless: Invisible Computer Mouse [Video]

The old hardware mouse is obsolete. Mouseless is an invisible computer mouse that features the same usage of the physical mouse without it actually being there.

Mouseless is a project by Pranav Mistry of the MIT Fluid Interfaces Group. Mouseless is powered by an Infrared (IR) laser beam (with line cap) and an Infrared camera embedded in the computer. Lets first see the mouseless mouse at work in the video below.

So how does it work?

The laser beam module is modified with a line cap and placed such that it creates a plane of IR laser just above the surface the computer sits on. The user cups their hand, as if a physical mouse was present underneath, and the laser beam lights up the hand which is in contact with the surface. The IR camera detects those bright IR blobs using computer vision. The change in the position and arrangements of these blobs are interpreted as mouse cursor movement and mouse clicks. As the user moves their hand the cursor on screen moves accordingly. When the user taps their index finger, the size of the blob changes and the camera recognizes the intended mouse click.

With multitouch gestures and multiple laser beams, the possibilities are endless. The mouse is going to be obsolete soon … mark my words.