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Anker Vertical Mouse

kat · 1 · 6496

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Offline kat

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Had one of these arrive in the post today (shown right), an Anker Vertical Mouse (wired version). Its a curious device and looks bigger than it actually is (its about the same size as a full-sized mouse tilted 45 degrees). The idea is that it positions then hand in a more vertical position to relieve some or all of the rotational stresses placed on the hand/wrist/arm often associated with traditional mice that can lead to some experiencing all sorts of muscular/physiological issues (carpel-tunnel being a particularly nasty one). Although yours-truly doesn't suffer any such issues anything that helps reduce the potential for problems in the long term is a good idea to investigate.

Anywho... the mouse is essentially shaped like a wedge of cheese ("I do like a lovely bit of Wensleydale Gromit") so it's pointy towards the front and wider at the back (basically to encourage the hand into a more natural and relaxed position when used). Although it has six buttons, the standard left, middle and right plus three extras, the extras don't do anything outside of a web browser (according to the product page). And as the device is seen by Windows as a standard "HID-compliant mouse" it doesn't appear the buttons are customisable. Aside from that, the upper body has a rubberised anti-slip coating which lends it a nice 'soft-touch' feel, which for general computer use, works well.

A Vertical Mouse for Blender?
For use specifically with Blender though these types of vertical mice can be a little problematic depending on their general design (not all of them are wedge shaped) because the downward (now sideways) force needed to click-hold one of the main mouse buttons tends to want the mouse to tip forward, an action that's compensated for pushing back with the thumb. This results in a 'lobster claw' that actually increases the amount of pressure exerted by the hand across the mouse which, over prolonged periods, can be just as problematic for some users as the pressures associated with using a normal mouse. The solution would be to better stabilise the front end by making the base wider and ensuring it extended under the buttons and to adjust the size of the middle-mouse button - some interpretations of the vertical mouse do in fact do both of these, sadly not the Anker.

Having said all of that though, it's still an interesting device for general computer use so for anyone looking for an alternative it may be worth picking up, especially for those wanting to relieve some of the stresses attributed to using standard mice (as an aside, being a USB 2 device it's possible to have more than one mouse attached to a computer so a standard mouse could be used for Blender, with an Anker or other vertical mouse for general work/use).