Elecom doesn’t think that the dozens of mice populating the shelves of your local PC store are doing a good enough job for you, so its releasing the Scope Node Mouse–a precision pointing device the company claims is about as accurate as using a pen.
The tagline actually is “like you’re holding a pen” because the slightly radical-looking mouse has its laser optical system roughly at the corresponding point where a pen held in your hand would rest. Elsewise there’s the usual buttons under the fingertips, and a scroll-wheel with an open framework design that will probably collect less fluff than some other mice seem to (I’m looking at you, Apple Mighty Mouse.) The laser optics give the device a 1600dpi accuracy, and it’s a wired USB item.
But does its “pen-like precision” design boast hold water? Of course not.
Think about this: the mouse body of the Scope Node is a solid object. It doesn’t change shape when you’re mousing–so the site for optics on the mouse is more or less arbitrary. Move the mouse about and a sensor in the center, at Elecom’s “pen-tip” location or in anywhere will detect the movement identically.
One situation this doesn’t hold for is rotation: if you naturally rotate the mouse as you move, then a sensor placed at different points on the mouse would detect differing motion. But this doesn’t matter for two reasons. First, when I mouse, I tend to lock my wrist pretty firmly–I bet you do too, especially since it’s the only way to do “up-down” movements. Second, if you’re pivoting your wrist somewhat to pan the mouse left-right, you’re actually moving it in a small arc–and the optics will sense a proportion of this as up/down movements too. The way to simplify unwanted cursor movements from this is to put the optics in the middle of the mouse, towards the center of the arc.
A pen-precise mouse, to me, would be one that uses the extra-fine movements I can make with my fingertips, versus less accurate arm and wrist moves–the Scope Node is just a nicely accurate laser mouse with unusual styling. Good thing it’s only about $60, and only in Japan for now.