Logitech Inc., which says it is the world's largest manufacturer of computer pointing devices, has created a new family of ergonomically designed mice, including big ones and little ones, left-handed ones and right-handed ones, even one that has had its tail cut off. All of them are lopsided and have three ears.
The Logitech Mouseman mice introduced last week were designed by Frogdesign, an industrial design concern that has won many honors for innovation.
The unconventional styling is a function of ergonomic design as well as aesthetics.
Ergonomics, from the Greek roots for work and law, is the study of how the human body interacts with machines, and the field has become a matter
of concern for computer users concerned about the possible health effects of computer use.
Logitech officials stopped short of saying that the new mice would lessen the user's risk of developing hand, wrist or finger disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis.
The Mouseman mice are slightly "pigeon-toed," and their contours are more rounded to support a slightly cupped hand.
The design requires greater reliance on arm muscles, which are ZTC relatively strong, and less on the wrist.
The mouse buttons, or ears, are elongated to accommodate different finger lengths. There are separate versions for right-handers and left-handers. An oversized mouse (a rat?) for users with big hands will be available later in the year, the company said.
Mouseman will have a suggested list price of $119 to $199, depending on configuration, and will be available for IBM PC, PS/2 and Apple Macintosh computers. Several of the PC Mouseman mice are available now, including a cordless radio mouse. The Mac Mouseman mice will be available in April.
The Logitech litter includes serial mice, so called because their cords attach to the computer's serial port; bus mice, which plug into a mouse adapter that in turn plugs into the computer's expansion bus; and PS/2 mice, which plug directly into the dedicated mouse port on those computers. On the Mac side of the family, the mice plug into the ADB port.
One of the new Logitech mice does not plug into any port at all. The cordless radio Mouseman can operate independently, communicating with the computer via radio waves that can travel as far as 11 feet.