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$500 Mouse Features LCD Screen

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 37 comments

For $500, consumers can buy a cool Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 bundle. However, there's apparently a need for a mouse that can display e-mail on its LCD screen.

Talk about crazy! Who in their right mind would shell out $500 for a mouse? Apparently, there's a consumer base that will do just that, especially when the device delivers advance control of 3D models and the ability to provide at-a-glance access to Microsoft Outlook e-mail via a built-in color LCD screen. 3Dconnexion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Logitech, revealed a mouse that actually offers both features. Called the SpacePilot PRO, the 3D mouse provides a color LCD Workflow Assistant, Intelligent Function keys, QuickView Navigation technology, and an improved design over the earlier non-Pro model.

So why exactly does a mouse need an LCD screen? As mentioned earlier, the device can actually display e-mail received via Microsoft Outlook, and can even display a calendar, tasks lists, and more. However, 3Dconnexion designed the Workflow Assistant to meet everyone's needs, providing end-users the ability to customize the software and display whatever information is needed. To make workflow even more fluid, the company implemented five fully customizable (dual-function) Intelligent Function keys, offering one-touch access to ten frequently used commands within any supported 3D application.

At the heart of the SpacePilot PRO is its support for 3D applications, whether its 3DS Max or Maya. The mouse can actually move in all three dimensions (X,Y,Z) simultaneously, using 3Dconnexion's "six-degrees-of-freedom" technology. By lifting, pressing, and turning the controller cap, designers can easily pan, zoom and rotate without stopping to select commands. The device's QuickView Navigation keys even helps to improve design workflow by providing quick, one-touch access to specific views, whether its top and bottom, left and right, or front and back, offering 32 possible views. Navigation Setting keys also offer simplified and customized control, allowing the end-user to turn pan-and-zoom, rotation and one-axis control on or off.

“3Dconnexion’s 3D mice have rewritten the rules on the way design engineers and professionals interact with 3D environments,” said Dieter Neujahr, president of 3Dconnexion. “Our new SpacePilot PRO builds on our market-leading industry experience, delivering the most powerful 3D mouse we’ve ever made. It enables increased performance that ultimately results in better designs, created in less time.”

According to the company, its $500 SpacePilot PRO comes with a three-year warranty, and is supported by Windows XP, Windows Vista, Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC), Sun Solaris 10 (x86), and Linux (Redhat Enterprise Linux WS 4, SuSE 9.3 or later). Linux and Solaris support workflow assistant function key assignments only. Consumers interested in purchasing the SpacePilot PRO via 3Dconnexion can head here. Otherwise, online retail outlets such as Amazon, Dell, and CDW will begin to offer the 3D mouse soon.

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    teacup320 , April 16, 2009 11:56 PM
    THIS IS NOT A MOUSE. This is a 3d Controller for CAD/Digital Content Creation. You can't game with this, and frankly, no-one should be writing articles about this unless they understand the benefits of Quadro/FirePro graphic cards. Come-on Kevin...
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    alvine , April 16, 2009 9:54 PM
    im sorry but is that necessary...?
  • 9 Hide
    christop , April 16, 2009 10:02 PM
    This must be for the person who has everything...
  • Display all 37 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    Harby , April 16, 2009 10:10 PM
    At the heart of the SpacePilot PRO is its support for 3D applications, whether its 3DS Max or Maya. The mouse can actually move in all three dimensions (X,Y,Z) simultaneously, using 3Dconnexion's "six-degrees-of-freedom" technology. By lifting, pressing, and turning the controller cap, designers can easily pan, zoom and rotate without stopping to select commands.

    I'm sure some 3d designers will use it just for that. I know I would. 500 is not a massive amount if you consider it from a workstation point of view. If something like this will improve your productivity then I'm sure you'll consider buying it.

    From a home consumers point of view its defo expensive and mostly useless.
  • 3 Hide
    kingnoobe , April 16, 2009 10:13 PM
    I could see this being a good mouse for some things.. Hell if I was constantly making maps for games.. I would damn near consider getting this mouse..
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 10:49 PM
    uhh...that's not a mouse. it's just a spacepilot with a screen. duh tom?
  • 1 Hide
    H8ff0000 , April 16, 2009 10:58 PM
    Add the functionality of their uber-expensive (but very good) universal remotes, and I'm sold.
  • -1 Hide
    kamkal , April 16, 2009 11:27 PM

    You know how much booze one could buy with 500 bux?? A LOT!
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 11:30 PM
    maybe something I actually will buy in 15 years or so,when it somewhat proves necessary... By then they probably will cost an acceptable $50.
  • -3 Hide
    rooket , April 16, 2009 11:35 PM
    $500 for something that will last all of 3 years, what a good investment....
  • 19 Hide
    teacup320 , April 16, 2009 11:56 PM
    THIS IS NOT A MOUSE. This is a 3d Controller for CAD/Digital Content Creation. You can't game with this, and frankly, no-one should be writing articles about this unless they understand the benefits of Quadro/FirePro graphic cards. Come-on Kevin...
  • 5 Hide
    kingssman , April 17, 2009 12:28 AM
    The LCD screen on the mouse is cool,,,, if I had eyes on my fingertips
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2009 12:45 AM
    My Wacom tablet cost around 500 dollars. Of course it could be considered a "mouse" device. I need it for all the Adobe software, Zbrush and it improves my productivity by not making my carpal tunnel flare up...which can be crippling, (I got it from being a welder believe it or not.)

    This being said, I consider it well worth the money and would have paid well over 1k if I had to. It's worth it if you do it for a living.
  • 6 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 17, 2009 1:50 AM
    Quote:
    is supported by Windows XP, Windows Vista, Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC), Sun Solaris 10 (x86), and Linux (Redhat Enterprise Linux WS 4, SuSE 9.3 or later). Linux and Solaris support workflow assistant function key assignments only.


    I find it funny that Linux/Windows are listed as supported but no OSX (technically based on UNIX, but that doesn't count). :lol:  A Mac user is more likely to spend on a mouse like this than a PC user.
  • 4 Hide
    Tindytim , April 17, 2009 3:12 AM
    Shadow703793I find it funny that Linux/Windows are listed as supported but no OSX (technically based on UNIX, but that doesn't count). A Mac user is more likely to spend on a mouse like this than a PC user.

    Eh, I'd buy it if it supported Ubuntu and Blender. But Mactards would only buy something like this if it had the apple brand on it.
  • 7 Hide
    SneakySnake , April 17, 2009 3:48 AM
    How do you read the LCD when your hand is over the mouse?
  • 3 Hide
    outacontrolpimp , April 17, 2009 5:29 AM
    id rather have a small screen on a stand below my monitor, looking over your mouse would be incredibly anoying. even as a game designer point of view, i would much rather have a small 2.5-5 in screen to have the same effects.
  • 3 Hide
    H8ff0000 , April 17, 2009 10:13 AM
    teacup320THIS IS NOT A MOUSE. This is a 3d Controller for CAD/Digital Content Creation. You can't game with this, and frankly, no-one should be writing articles about this unless they understand the benefits of Quadro/FirePro graphic cards. Come-on Kevin...

    Just another case of misleading titles.
  • 2 Hide
    theuerkorn , April 17, 2009 11:49 AM
    teacup320THIS IS NOT A MOUSE. This is a 3d Controller for CAD/Digital Content Creation. You can't game with this, and frankly, no-one should be writing articles about this unless they understand the benefits of Quadro/FirePro graphic cards. Come-on Kevin...


    +1 and I am actually using a similar one with Pro/E. The author appears to have no CAD background and therefore might call it a mouse? Either way, e-mail screen sounds weird, but I am sure it's most usable to remember custom button assignments etc. similar to WACOM's new Intuos 4.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2009 12:41 PM
    Why not displaying the information where I'm looking at, on my monitor?
  • 2 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , April 17, 2009 1:09 PM
    Actually, this looks far less like a mouse and far more like a joystick/keyboard replacement. It looks like you're meant to use this with your left hand (if you're right handed) and use a mouse in your right hand, moving the object you're working with in 3D around with the control knob with your left hand, accessing the functions you want to use with the keyboard replacement macros/buttons with your left hand and doing the actual editing with the mouse in your right hand. In this way you could think of it more like holding an object in your left hand while sculpting it with a knife in your right hand.

    This is definitely not a mouse but looks like a superb 3D editing tool.
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