GyroMouse Presenter: Wave Your Magic Wand
In the current climate for Internet startups, a snappy laptop-powered presentation can turn a far-out idea into a fully funded company headed for the stars--or the stock exchange. But corded mice and pointers just don't seem to fit into this high-tech picture. To look as cool as your mocked-up Web site, try GyroPoint's GyroMouse Presenter, a sleek, matte-black cordless pointing device that works on or off the desktop.
The Presenter uses radio frequency technology to communicate, so it doesn't have to stay in the line of sight of its charger/cradle unit or your PC. You can keep your hand wherever it's comfortable--in your lap, at your side--and direct the mouse using only slight movements. The Presenter also puts software-driven presentation effects at your fingertips. At $170, it's a bit pricey, but if you place a premium on image and control, it may be worth the extra dough.
The GyroMouse Presenter works with Microsoft- and Logitech-compatible mouse drivers, so there's usually no need to install additional software. After charging the mouse in its cradle for at least 14 hours, simply turn off your PC, connect the cradle to your PS/2 mouse port or serial port, and you're ready to go. The included nickel cadmium batteries enable about eight hours of operation when they're fully charged.
Using gyroscope technology, the GyroMouse Presenter senses even the slightest rotations, making motion tracking very smooth when you're navigating documents, dialog boxes, the Web, and slide shows. According to GyroPoint, the Presenter can sense movement at speeds as slow as one-tenth of a degree per second and as rapid as 400 degrees per second. Ergonomically speaking, that's a good thing: You won't have to gesticulate wildly while presenting your business plan to billionaire investors.
The Presenter is not ergonomically perfect, however. The right and left buttons work just like those on a regular desktop mouse, but to point the cursor, you must press the Activate button on the underside of the Presenter. To anchor the cursor, you let go of the button, and to keep the cursor in motion, you double-click the button. In our tests, squeezing the Activate button on and off strained the index finger. Although staying in constant-motion mode made positioning the cursor over small icons and links a bit more difficult, this caused less strain. The unit's 5.5-ounce weight also affects pointer control somewhat.
Because of space constraints, we tested the GyroMouse Presenter from a maximum distance of 20 feet, but the company claims it will work at distances of up to 60 feet. And don't worry about conflicting with a colleague's Presenter: Eight RF channels allow several GyroMouse Presenters to be used in close range of one another, and 16 unique addresses let you search for the strongest signal if you run into interference.
The bundled GyroTools software provides a range of great features that make the GyroMouse Presenter more than just a pointing device. You can assign more than 50 special effects to three different mouse actions--right-click and hold, right-double-click, and left-click while holding down the right button. Effects range from launching an on-screen keyboard or Web browser to displaying a subliminal message for less than a second ("fund my startup, fund my startup") or turning the cursor into a highlighter.
The GyroMouse Presenter also sports several convenient hardware features, including a power-saving mode that kicks in after five minutes of inactivity and a self-steady feature that lets you correct erratic cursor movement by placing the mouse on a level surface for five seconds. And the device allows seamless shifting between presentation and desktop use.
Despite its high price, the GyroMouse Presenter's versatility makes it a practical--and very stylish--solution for frequent presenters.