A scroll wheel has been added to the prototype. Previously we considered putting it to the left of the comma key as shown in the sketch below. However we have put it on the right side of the comma key. As of October 2014 it appears to work well but hasnâ€™t been fully tested. To save battery life it is only active during mouse mode. This isnâ€™t ideal as one has to be gripping the unit to activate mouse mode and often during scrolling the unit is lightly gripped. This will be fixed in the future.
The following paragraphs talk about the various scroll solutions considerations prior to June 2103. I have left them in the blog as a reminder.
There is no ideal scrolling solution for the right hand Combimouse part.
On the earlier prototype a Scroll wheel was located on the left part but that is not ideal and will be removed.
Currently the thinking is to implement both the Gesture Scrolling and Click Scrolling methods as described in the first two solutions below. The third solution is likely to also be present.
Gesture scrolling by moving finger along surface of the Comma key
This is the same that is done on the Apple Magic Mouse and some Microsoft mice.
By moving your finger along the surface scrolling will happen.
This hasnâ€™t been implemented yet on the Combimouse, but it is expected to work and is practical to implement even though it is fairly complicated. I did say it is practical to implement - that needs to be confirmed.
There is a disadvantage of this system as it is very sensitive and doesnâ€™t give as much control as a scroll wheel.
The other disadvantage is that it is only available for Mouse Grip 1 and not Mouse Grip 2
Mouse grip 1
Mouse grip 2
This has been implemented and works well. The disadvantage is that like the Gesture Scrolling method it doesnâ€™t provide fine control.
One advantage is that works for both mouse grip modes.
During mouse mode, if the P or Semi-Colon is pressed and released, the unit goes into scrolling mode. If you move the mouse up or down from this zero position scrolling goes up or down. The further you move from the zero position the faster the scrolling. If you keep the mouse at a position away from the zero position scrolling accelerates quickly. This makes it easy to jump to the top and bottom of documents.
To get out of the scrolling mode, any key is pressed or you got out of mouse mode by stop touching the touch sensor on the right side of the unit.
Alternate Click Scrolling
This method was prototyped but is not practical.
If you were to press a designated key during mouse mode, scrolling would occur by moving the mouse. The problem is you need to keep moving the mouse for scrolling to continue. By the time you are finished scrolling the mouse has moved very far.
The pointing stick as shown below has been considered. It wouldnâ€™t move the cursor as it normal does - rather it would produce scrolling in the direction it Â pushed. I discarded this option - I must confess that I canâ€™t remember why. I think it was due the high power consumption.
One advantage would be that the same pointing stick Â could be used with both mouse grip modes. It also doesnâ€™t add significant mass far from the centre of gravity
Thumb Wheel Scrolling
This method has been suggested and is being considered, although it would seem that it probably is not a good solution.
The big advantage is that it is accurate and has good control.
Two scroll wheels located on the mouse grip as shown in the diagram below would be needed. Two scroll wheels would be required - one for each mouse grip mode.
One problem is that there there would not be enough space for the thumb between the Space key and the side of the side when using the top scroll wheel. In addition the height below the keyboard to house the scroll wheels is not sufficient. There is only 7mm available.
Another problem is that the thumb may not be suitable for continuous scrolling and may cause RSI - this is just a gut feeling and may not actually occur.