So using the Air mouse like any standard mouse isn’t that remarkable, but what about its motion sensing capabilities?
Activating the motion sensors is accomplished by pulling a soft-touch rubber-coated trigger on the device’s bottom, though without GyroTools installed it can also be turned on by holding any of the three chromed buttons below the scroll wheel. Be aware that the trigger is tiny, and despite a small ‘ridge’ to make it easier to grip, it is far more difficult to operate than on the original Air Mouse.
Keeping the trigger pressed while trying to operate the buttons on top of the mouse with your thumb (as suggested by the user guide) is awkward too. In fact, ergonomics has in some ways taken a back seat in favour of portability. That said, you can avoid holding the trigger constantly by pulling the trigger twice in order to keep the motion sensors permanently activated.
By now you might be thinking the new Air Mouse really isn’t worth bothering with – but despite its many little (and some bigger) flaws, that would be doing it a disservice.
This is not the first Gyration product we have reviewed, with that honour going to the Gyration Universal MediaPC Remote and Keyboard Suite, but it is by far the most sensitive. The extra sensors make a perceptible difference, and culminate into what I think is the most accurate motion controller available today. Range is also fantastic; even standing outside the office, about 25m away from my computer, the Air Mouse was still transmitting flawlessly.
To control the cursor, you can just flick you wrist, though I occasionally found it more comfortable and intuitive to move my arm from the elbow. Movement, meanwhile, is accurate enough that you can select individual letters from a word in a document.
Some of the features, especially for the multimedia and business user, are locked away in the included GyroTools software. This all-new version to go with the all-new mouse consists of a tiny install file of under two megabytes.
Installation is simple. Just insert the CD, let it autorun, and after installing the driver you’re away – no reboots or registration required. Unfortunately, you can’t download software for the mouse yet from Gyration’s website, so those with netbooks or otherwise lacking an optical drive might want to copy the CD contents to a memory key first.