Improved mouse control for users with disabilities


The system works great but there are a couple of : Application controls that detect "mouse over" and "mouse hover" states don't work (so, for example, the Windows Start bar has to be configured so it doesn't "auto-hide"), and popup and dropdown menus are rendered, unmagnified, on top of the locating cursor. Even so, this looks to be a terrific aid for those with impaired motor skills.

The AIM group's other cursor control system, the , adjusts the velocity of the cursor according to the rate of linear velocity and angular change of the cursor's path (there is on this technique). The idea is to manage users' cursor positioning input even when they have trouble maintaining smooth hand movements.

With the Angle Mouse system switched on, smooth, fast mouse position changes in a straight line are ignored while fast movements on a curve are slowed up and thereby smoothed; the software effectively makes "targets bigger in motor-space," which is to say that the relationship between the physical movement and the on-screen movement is modified to effectively enlarge the geometry of the target area as the user slows down the mouse.

Curiously, while the software was actually designed for disabled users, I find the Angle Mouse enhances mouse usability by making fine cursor control generally better. Try it and see if you don't find the system to be an effective user interface improvement. I hope they've patented this technique because it should be part of all operating systems.

The Angle Mouse cursor system is far more "techie" but, unlike the Pointing Magnifier, isn't quite ready for prime time as the control panel for the software has way too many mysterious settings unless you plan to spend a lot of time fooling around with it.