Born from the imagination of the small Norwegian software house Opera, the "mouse gestures" are slowly gaining ground, helping users with basic and repetitive tasks.
The "mouse gestures" are applied with just the click of the mouse combined with the movement of the wrist, and work at any point on the screen, avoiding the need to reach the button on the menu bar; a good example is that of the "back" function in the browser, obtained in Opera by holding down the mouse button and sliding it to the left.
The idea is all the more useful the larger the size of the computer screens, which force the mouse pointers to move considerably to reach the application buttons. The remedies attempted to date have been the keyboard shortcuts (which are indigestible to many users) and the "advanced" mice with multiple programmable buttons, to which to associate some commands (which ruin the simple immediacy of the mouse). Now Logitech reveals that it is in contact with some developers to work on mouse gestures.
One of the projects most involved in the Optimoz issue, born from the Mozilla team, which has started to develop a set of APIs to use gestures in Mozilla-based applications.
Just some members of this team believe that the increase in 3D simulated situations on PCs (for example 3D CAD), will make gestures even more useful.
"I don't think mouse gestures will revolutionize the user interface," says Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, "but it's a good idea that works."
The last word to the true inventor of the mouse, Doug Engelbart, who said he applauded the efforts that try to go beyond the traditional point-and-click interface. (By Marco Centofanti)