Soap Optical Mouse And eXistenZ Metaflesh Game Pod

Soap, the wireless optical pointing device, is the result of a project lead by Patrick Baudisch. It doesn't sit on a desk, like the tame mice you're used to; you hold it and sqeeze it and stroke it to get the result you want on your connected computer.

(Soap wireless pointing device)

The Soap optical mouse is made of a standard model optical mouse (no gyroscopes or other accoutrements found in most non-tabletop mice); it is enclosed in a "hull" of a soft material (in this case, fur).

"Given its particular shape, the core evades the pressure [of hand motions, squeezing and stroking] and starts rotating. The motion between core and hull is captured by the optical sensor in the core, and is reported wirelessly to the computer. A switch inside the core allows you to click Soap by squeezing it."
(From Soap wireless optical mouse)

A joystick-style motion is created by gently stroking the hull material, dragging it over the sensor. According to the creator of the device, it offers easy fine positioning and fast movement of the cursor across the screen.

The Soap pointer gets its name from the motion used in moving rapidly across the screen; the Soap device is twirled with the long axis laid across the palm under the fingers.

This kind of flexible, malleable pointing device was also found in eXistenZ, a 1999 film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm and Willem Dafoe. A leading game designer is testing her new virtual reality software, eXistenZ, with a group of players. They use an unusual pointing device, the eXistenZ Metaflesh Game Pod, described as having been grown from modified amphibian embryos. It throbs and trills when you stroke it, manipulating the game play.

(eXistenZ Metaflesh Game Pod)

Thanks to Adi for pointing this story out; watch a very informative Soap wireless optical pointer video.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/1/2006)

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