We here at Redmond Pie are always interested in innovative new ideas and gadgets that take an already fantastic piece of kit and push the boundaries by making it that little bit better. What could be better than a fully functional iPhone that comes complete with a new accessory designed to give the premium Apple device a little more power? Kickstarter is often home to designers and developers who are keen to get onto the accessory market with such trinkets, and thankfully, it hasn’t let us down this time with the MAUZ smartphone attachment.
The MAUZ project creators have taken to Kickstarter in an attempt to raise $150,000 in funding for their smartphone enabled pointing device that allows users to control computers in the immediate vicinity with gestures and visual cues through the connected phone. It all sounds a bit science-fiction, but the creators are essentially pitching a little accessory that turns the iPhone into a kinetic three-dimensional computer mouse that they are referring to as a “Minority Report interface”.
One of the major benefits of the product and associated app is the full computer mouse interface and feature set that MAUZ brings to the device. All expected functions like left-click, right-click and scrolling functionality are present. Users are simply required to connect the device to the bottom of the smartphone, launch the app and wait for it to pair with computer. Tilting the phone will cause the app to change from a standard mouse setup to be able to be used as a fully-functional touchpad.
The power of MAUZ – and the reason why it’s potentially worth investing to ensure it hits the target – comes from the ability to use the device along the Z-axis. Interacting with the computer through controlled device movements is something that is new and probably alien to a lot of people, but is more natural than we might expect thanks to consoles like the Nintendo Wii that have made it a commonplace. 3D navigation is entirely possible with the device, as is customizing our own personalized gestures to quickly get the tasks done that we perform on a regular basis.
Visual gestures, short keys and an open SDK all add to the value of the project, with the MAUZ definitely appealing to those who want to transcend the standard computer mouse and interact with something that can be tailored to each user’s needs. The project has fifty-nine days to run with a large portion of investment still needing to be found.