By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hillcrest Labs announced earlier this summer that its Loop pointer would now be available for consumers to purchase.
Billed as a unique Freespace mouse, the Loop is engineered to let users control an onscreen cursor with the flick of a wrist. It's geared toward consumers who have computers connected to their TVs —Hillcrest Labs cited Consumer Electronics Association data that said there are more than 7 million U.S. households with a personal computer connected to a home TV set.
The Loop pointer's distinctive design is round and ergonomic, with four buttons and a scroll wheel. To use it, consumers plug a small USB 2.0 transceiver (included with the device) with built-in RF technology into a compatible computer or device. No special driver software is required for use on a PC or Mac. Users can operate the device up to 30 feet from the transceiver.
Using Hillcrest Labs' Freespace technology, the Loop is said to feature high accuracy and precision, and orientation compensation that lets it operate regardless of its orientation. Its Adaptive Tremor Removal technology can reportedly distinguish between intentional and unintentional movement, including natural hand tremors, said Hillcrest.
“Instead of filtering out the entire range of human tremor, which would reduce the accuracy of the pointer, the Loop pointer dynamically measures each individual user's specific tremor and unintentional movements and removes them,” the company said.
The Loop can also be utilized as a presentation tool, letting users switch between presentations, Web pages and other applications. Although it can not operate as a game controller for a PlayStation3, it can be used as a complementary device to navigate the Internet using the PS3 browser, Hillcrest Labs said.
Suggested retail for the 4.9-ounce Loop pointer, which has a 4.8-inch diameter and 1.2-inch width, is $99.
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