Asus' foray into fantastical hybrids didn't end with the newly announced Transformer Book Trio. With the VivoMouse, Asus has combined mouse and trackpad into a single, odd-looking device.
While traditional PC mice have a lumpy shape that fits snugly under a relaxed hand, the VivoMouse gently arches, then expands outward into a disc-like trackpad surface. Users can either slide the VivoMouse around on a desk, or pick it up and use the trackpad by itself.
The trackpad supports several touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and twist-to-rotate. Windows 8 gestures are also supported, so users can swipe in from the edges of the trackpad to bring up the app sidebar and charms bars. To scroll up and down, you simply slide a finger clockwise or counter-clockwise around the bottom edge of the pad, allowing for easy one-handed use.
Asus is touting the VivoMouse alongside its VivoPC, a small desktop PC for offices and living rooms. It's unclear, however, whether the VivoPC will actually include a VivoMouse, and Asus hasn't announced pricing or anything more specific than Q3 for availability.
In any case, the idea of using the VivoMouse as a remote control sounds appealing, but without a built-in keyboard, it's not going to be a complete solution for living room PCs. And as a desktop mouse, it could potentially an ergonomic pain.
We've seen plenty of attempts to rethink the mouse, with Microsoft's Wedge Touch Mouse and the iPhone-enabled Mauz being recent examples. While some of these efforts may provide more portability or functionality, they never quite compare to a traditional, hand-contoured mouse when comfort and precision are the highest priorities. Being able to do it all with a single, no-compromise piece of hardware remains an elusive goal--an idea we've certainly pondered in other contexts.