Computers seem to keep getting smaller and smaller… but you still need to connect a keyboard, mouse, display and other peripherals to make them useful. But what if your computer was your mouse?
A Polish startup is working on a project they call Mouse Box, and it’s basically a mouse that houses the guts of a fully functional computer.
The team has a prototype, but is hoping to generate buzz in an effort to raise funds to turn the Mouse Box into a real product.
Inside the mouse is a 1.4 GHz quad-core ARM-based processor and 128GB of storage. There are USB and micro HDMI ports built in, and the little computer connects to the internet over 802.11b/g/n WiFi.
Plug the Mouse Box into a laptop or desktop and it functions like a normal mouse. Connect it to a display and keyboard and it acts as a standalone computer.
The developers are also working on incorporating wireless display technology so you won’t need to run an HDMI cable to a display. Another feature in development is a special mouse pad that can act as a wireless charger for the Mouse Box’s battery. The pad can also be folded up into a box for carrying the little computer.
It’s not clear if this device will ever actually see the light of day. But at a time when pocket-sized computers are becoming increasingly common, it’s not surprising someone decided to build a PC into a mouse.
via Slashdot and MyBroadband
I guess I disagree with many posters here who think this is a stupid idea. Done right, the stealth capabilities of this mouse are what make it unique (as shown in the video)… just don’t make it red!
I don’t want my mouse to be a mini-heater.
If Miracast or Chromecast has much less latency and was built in this could be viable.
how would you even select what network to use and what miracast-output to select? you have no display in that mouse, so you can’t even list available options.
of course you could preload a config via usb or micro-sd, and that would even be an option i’d consider usable. But trying to sell that to normal users would fail misserably.
My initial thought would be keeping the cable output (for monitors or machines without wireless display options) and using that for the initial configuration of Miracast/Chromecast. Once configured, you can unplug and connect to the “preferred” saved connection each time on boot. That may not be ideal, but would address initial configuration. You could also embed a small LCD into the device which could be used for other features as well as initial configuration. (Battery power, hot-key config, diagnostic, HDD capacity remaining, etc.) This could be a small couple-line display that would take minimal battery/space. I am not hardware person, but those would seem like good solutions.
So when the buttons wear out, my computer is done for?
This would have been a better idea as a Keyboard, or maybe a 4×4″ touchpad.
…ARM-based … *close tab*
maybe it’ll work if it is using slimport or usb 3.1
The concept isn’t bad but don’t plug everything into the mouse individually because that’s always going to be awkward to use.
Instead just have a cable that leads to the connectors broken out at the end.
the way you much have a thicker cable but the mouse will behave more like what you are accustomed to.
Also, a wireless keyboard could be easily added if this device includes Bluetooth, or even just with a small USB dongle to connect the keyboard to the mouse wirelessly. As for connecting it to the display, I’d imagine that there would be a similar dongle for that.
i like the concept, if only because I always carry around a mouse, so using the space to transport a mini pc seems a nice benefit. I do believe they should aim for x86, Android mini PCs are nice but if they expect me to use it on the office I sadly need Windows
Like other commenters have pointed out, this is a stupid concept. Not only the fact that you will run 2-3 cables out of 1 mouse, where some people already feel impeded with 1 cable on a mouse and opt to use mouse cable holders ( https://www.gpforums.co.nz/attachment.php?attachmentid=133480&stc=1&d=1183952553 ) or go for wireless mice alltogether, this has the added problem of wear and tear due to moving mechanical parts, namely the mouse buttons. While normal mice do last you a few years i have found that every optical mouse i’ve owned over the past 1.5 decades that the mouse buttons were the first things to go. They first develop “non-click” or “double-click” errors until the button stops working alltogether. In that case you can just go and buy another mouse for 5-100 bucks, but in the case of this thing you need to replace the whole computer or need a costly repair.
My Verdict: FAIL!
I’ve never had a mouse fail on me even after years. But i have had monitors die, does that mean all in one computers are stupid and no one wants one? Also this device will probably be low end and much cheaper than all in ones.
All-in-One’s are basically Notebooks that come with a stand instead of an attached keyboard, but i wouldn’t put them any higher on the stupid-scale than Notebooks.
As someone who uses one and the same PC for 6-20 hours a day, i can say that even 90 EUR “Gaming Mice” i buy more for the high DPI sensors than anything else typically only last me 2-3 years until the mentioned weirdness starts happening where a single click either doesn’t register, or registers as a double-click with increasing frequency until the button either stops working completely or my annoyance prompted a replacement before then. The whole apeal of having smartphone/mobile tech like solid state memory or passively cooled CPUs is that no moving parts means less likelihood of failure, while mouse button click switches are something that does tend to break quite fast with frequent use, and in case of having the PC in the same device as those mouse buttons it’s a stupid avoidable “built in obsolescense” type of thing.
I’d much rather get an intel Compute Stick and a wireless bluetooth mouse instead of this thing. It’s at least 1 less dangling cable and if a mouse button breaks a far easier to fix problem.
Now that’s a stupid idea. 3 cables (minimum) for a mouse? At least make a single-cable solution to combine power, USB and HDMI, and put a dock on the other end. Or just use a stick format instead of the dock and a regular wireless mouse…
you would have cables sticking out of your mouse, one or two might be still ok, but you probably will end up with: display, power, n*usb(, network)
even worse: if you do power via induction and mouse pad, then it get’s less portable than current stick-thingies.
Better way to do it: build your hardware into a keyboard, not a mouse.
oh… that has been done, hasn’t it? (c64 anyone?)
But a stick doesn’t include a mouse.
More recent example of computer in keyboard is the transformer trio (where you can detach the display, and use the keyboard on its own). Not sure if anyone’s done a pure pc in a keyboard lately.
here’s the first one i found: https://www.cybernetman.com/en/all-in-one-pc/Keyboard-pc/
horrible hardware of course, nothing i’d buy
found another with amd fusion on alibaba and i’m remembering reading about some more of those. but none that was really interesting hardware.
Agreed the keyboard sounds like a better idea. Not sure what point you’re trying to make regarding the C64. Surely you aren’t suggesting there are no opportunities to improve upon a computer that was introduced in 1982.
point was: no new idea
of course there are more up-to-date versions of computer-in-keyboard
i just couldn’t name one in a second like i could with c64 🙂
but just googled for it and found a dozen devices, most just with x86 notebook-hardware, some even containing stuff like optical drives.
So there’s another reason for keyboard over mous: lots of space!
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