Mousing in Three Dimensions

By Robyn Peterson  |  Posted 2003-07-02 Print this article Print

Responsive 3-D mousing just by waving your hand in the air? Now that's innovation!

Feeling tied down by your mouse? The $80 (street) Gyration Ultra Cordless Optical Mouse frees you. This unique device uses a dual-axis gyroscope to detect a wide range of motion. Within 25 feet of the USB radio-frequency (RF) receiver, moving the mouse pointer on-screen is as simple as waving your hand in the air. Should you want to sit at a desk, though, the Gyration Ultra also acts as an optical mouse.

Long battery life is key for a cordless mouse. The Ultra Mouse operates at only 2.2 volts despite powering the gyroscope, microcontroller, and RF link. In our testing, when not using the mouse, setting it in its charging cradle ensured that battery life was never a problem. If the batteries fall to 20 percent of their full charge, a green light on top of the mouse flashes.

The included GyroTools software lets you assign macros to gestures. You can make a jerk of the mouse to the left cause your Internet browser to go back to the previous page, for instance. An impressive sampling rate—80 Hz—results in motion smooth enough to satisfy even a finicky gamer.

To read the full review, go to PC Magazine.
Robyn Peterson

Robyn Peterson, Vice President of Product Management and CTO for Ziff Davis Media, oversees,,,, and the other consumer-oriented Ziff Davis Media websites. He also covers multiple content areas, including but not limited to consumer electronics, car techonology, software and development, and networking. Robyn is also the host of the PCMag Radio podcast (subscribe in iTunes).

Robyn has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News and the WB network representing PC Magazine,, and ExtremeTech. His writing appears on and Yahoo in addition to PC Magazine, eWEEK, CGW, and ExtremeTech. He has also won the Chairman's Circle 2001 Award for outstanding editorial contributions to Ziff Davis Media (parent company of ExtremeTech and PC Magazine).

Robyn has a masters of science in computer science from New York University (NYU).

He can be reached at robyn_peterson (AT)

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