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.