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how it works


Please note that the photos shown on this website are of an earlier prototype. The latest prototype is similar. The latest prototype is handmade and crude and isn't suitable to be photographed.

The left unit is stationary and provides the function of the left hand side of a conventional QWERTY keyboard. The right unit has a similar mass, centre of gravity and moment of innertia to a conventional mouse. It also has a similar grip.
The combimouse right unit is a mobile combination keyboard and mouse that can be moved around on a support surface like a conventional mouse. The keys are arranged in the fashion of the right hand side of a conventional QWERTY keyboard.

By default the right unit operates in keyboard mode. When the user grips the right unit and so touches the side of the unit in the area labeled above as 'Contact switch', the right unit automatically changes to mouse mode.
When in this mode, movement of the right unit
enables cursor movement on the screen and as described below the keys become mouse click buttons.

Moving between keyboard and mouse modes is effortless and intuitive. The transition time between the two modes is insignificant.

The combimouse has been configured to enable two different methods of operating the right unit whilst in mouse mode. The hand positions for both are comfortable and intuitive. See the video which illustrates these concepts more clearly.

Grip 1 has only two fingers on the mouse keys. The comma key doubles as the left click button whilst the L key doubles as the right click button.


Grip 2 has three fingers on the mouse keys. The left click button is the J key, the middle click button is the I key and the the right click button is the O key


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Key layout

The latest prototype has the following key layout. There is an attempt to optimise the layout of the integrated numeric key layout without compromising the standard keys. To do this some of the keytops have been extended. This may not be a good idea and feedback is requested.

Some people have suggested that Page Up, Page Down, Home and End is not optimal - alternative suggestions are welcome.

The following diagram shows the left keyboard. Note the 2nd Fn key to the left of the Space Key. It is used in conjunction with the operation of the right unit.

The following shows the key layout of the right unit.

During Mouse mode, the keys take on the functions shown at the bottom of the keys. For example, the J key becomes the left mouse click button.

When the Fn key on the Left Unit is held down the keys on the Right Unit take on the functions shown in underlined text.

During Num Lock mode, the keys take on the functions shown in the squares. Num Lock mode is toggled on and off by pressing the Num key which is to the left of the N key.

Holding down the Fn key on the left unit, also temporarily turns on Num Lock mode.

Holding down the Fn key on the left unit during Num Lock mode enables the functions shown in squares and underlined. For example during Num lock mode if the Fn key is pressed the K key becomes down arrow.

Shape of keys on Right Unit

Some of the keys that double as integrated numeric keys have been changed. Their top surfaces have been extended so that when the device is used in numeric mode it more closely resembles the rectangular layout of numeric keypads. Some people have questioned this and it will be reconsidered.

Scroll function during Mouse mode

During Mouse mode press and release one of the Scroll keys (ie. either the P or semi-colon keys). Moving the mouse now implements the Scrolling function. To exit the Scrolling mode press any key or go out of mouse mode.

We are currently working on an improved Scroll. Scrolling will happen by moving ones finger along the surface of the comma key as is done with the Apple Magic Mouse.

Space key on left unit can be backspace key

Normally the Space key on the left unit acts as a Space key. It can be set to be the Backspace key by holding down on the left unit Fn key and simultaneously pressing the left Space key. To toggle it back to the Space key function, repeat this combination key press.

Page Up, Page Down, Home and End

For Page Up, Page Down, Home and End, hold down the Fn key on the Left Unit and press the appropriate key on the Right unit.


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