conservative reg readers
Amazing how conservative you folks are.
Yes, it looks ugly, but the way I see it, there should be at least as many buttons on a mouse as you have fingers. Any less is missing a trick.
Nobody is forcing anyone to buy this device, and let's face it, the scroll wheel is the first innovation in mouse design since Engelbart's 1968 original. (Why has nobody thought of making the ubiquitous office swivel chair into an input device?) Engelbart also devised several other 'no-brainers' including the ancestor of Endfield's Microwriter which have not caught on. Users were able to achieve extremely high typing speeds on those 'finger-chord' keyboards' ridiculed by 'Poor Coco' above, who clearly has no idea that they used a mnemonic finger pattern system, rather like sign-language, and not ascii codes. Once there was a good excuse why such innovations did not catch on (expense and lack of standards), but now we have USB.
BTW did anyone try the Oberon operating system? (Circa 1987). It used an ingenious 'chording' system with its three mouse buttons: Hold down one button while clicking another and you 'copy' the selection to the clipboard, for example. They also used up to four cursors. One for 'source parameter' one for 'target object', one for 'selecting' and one for 'execute'. It might not be the best design, but at least Wirth and co were thinking out of the box.
The mouse and the keyboard are the computer's primary 'sensory organs'. Should innovators not work to increase the bandwidth of their inputs? Increasing resolution of the motion sensors is one thing, but why not have pressure sensitive or velocity sensitive buttons? (256 levels of force? Dynamic Photoshop brush sizes? Wacom do this already and it's very, very cool). Imagine a keyboard where you could press harder for bold text etc.
There are many possibilities, but little real innovation. It doesn't help to have a gaggle of IT 'experts' who dismiss any attempt to design something new without actually trying it in their hands - which is what input devices ultimately stand or fall on.
If the OO mouse were the first of many design iterations, I think we would soon arrive at a really good input device. Yes, it looks absurd, but you have to start somewhere - and I think we are seeing the old cliché: innovators are invariably ridiculed until everyone realises the idea was always brilliant.
(How many here will admit to ridiculing the iPod because it lacked a radio? Well, I remember a vast clamour of voices with exactly that opinion. Yeah, I know... It was a long time ago, I never saw any Jews being mistreated... We didn't know what was going on... I can't really remember.... etc.)
I definitely use the 'home', 'page down' and 'page up' keys at least as much as I use the scroll wheel, probably more. Perhaps some of you minimalist/conservatives would rather have the scroll wheel on the keyboard too? Beside the page down' and 'page up' keys would be an 'obvious' place, no?
The real issue is the driver configuration software. Many logitech mice have 5 or more buttons, but the opportunities for configuring those buttons are ridiculously limited. Kensington mice have superb drivers, with finely tuned acceleration control and a proper macro editor but they seem to be going in Apple's direction of 'less is more' in their hardware designs.
So... why not TRY the device before leaping to any 'brilliant' and 'witty' conclusions.