If there’s one thing that bugs us about Windows 8 (we’ll stick to just one at the moment) it’s the way works on a traditional keyboard and mouse set up. It just doesn’t play ball. In fact Motix creator Brent Safer first got the idea of Motix when he started using Microsoft's current operating system. He demoed the prototype motion control interface to TrustedReviews at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.
The Motix consists of two components, a motion sensor behind a keyboard and a ‘position pad’ stuck just in front of the space bar that works a bit like a touchpad.
Using your index finger you can control the cursor and move it around, just like you would with a mouse. You can even use multiple fingers for gestures, like swiping from tile to desktop mode. Your thumb rests on the strip, which comes with programmable buttons but can also reduce or increase the sensitivity of gestures by sliding your thumb left or right.
It’s a clever system that is surprisingly precise in Brent’s expert hands. In fact he believes it’s so precise that designers can even use it for 3D CAD applications. Quite how tricky it will be to pick up for new users remains to be seen, the Motix needs to be calibrated for each user’s hands, but from what I saw it’s a great deal more precise than using gesture controls on the likes of Intel’s 3D RealSense camera.
Brent Safer made the decision to create the first version of the Motix as a standalone product rather than combined in a keyboard because “people are used to and like their own keyboards”. However, he does envisage manufacturers installing it in their keyboards or laptops in the future.
Will Motix make you want to install the touch heavy operating system Windows 8 on your desktop? Let’s put it this way, it’s the first system we’ve seen that makes even consider upgrading.
Motix will be available for $119.99 from February 2015 and works on Windows and OS X.