Update: Bought a Sidewinder this weekend and it is wonderful! I find myself actually using thumb buttons for once. Also, the mouse is wide and comfortable. It’s nice to see that the container for the weights and alternative feet holds the cord really well. The cord holding feature was clearly not just an afterthought – the holder has a substantial amount of additional heft beyond the mouse weights.
I’m looking forward to the new Microsoft Sidewinder mouse. Not just for gaming, but because of the optimal placement of the thumb buttons. Most mice put the thumb buttons ‘out of the way’, forcing you to reach to press them. The Sidewinder thumb buttons are positioned at your thumb’s resting position, similar to how the left and right buttons are positioned under your fingers.
I’m also looking forward to the competition this represents for logitech. I’m a huge fan of the logitech mice (I own several, including the mx510, the vx nano, and the mx revolution), but I’d love to see even more innovation.
$350 US, available only in Japan (9/29/07).
1GB of audio storage and can stream from bluetooth devices which support A2DP. Clever UI – hold the Rolly vertically, twist the top wheel to change the song. Twist the bottom wheel to change the volume. Moves, spins, moves its flippers to the music. Can be choreographed.
It does not seem to be programmable. However, if it can be controlled at a very granular level in real time via bluetooth, it may not need to be in order to be a basic robotics platform. Time will tell.
When I first read about the Rolly, I started pricing out how to builid something comparable using a Nintendo DS, a Palm TX or a Nokia Internet Tablet as the guts. All seem doable, for less than the cost of the Rolly (if you already have one of those devices), but they will be bigger, uglier and less durable than the Rolly. Still, a solution based on one of those devices would be much more programmable and would have a wifi connection.