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Author Topic: AirObic/ Aerobic Vertical mouse - first impressions  (Read 11878 times)
tomos
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« on: August 24, 2008, 03:55:09 PM »

First impressions of the AirO2bic Vertical Mouse

there seems to some confusion about the name - it's AirO2bic mouse with the dropped "2" but also called the Aerobic mouse

[First major update/edit will be in maroon colour font]

App NameAirO2bic Mouse
App URLhttp://aerobicmouse.com
App Version ReviewedLeft-handed mouse, Black (available in black or white). Dont know if this the first version or if the "2" in the name has any significance that way
Test System Specs
Quote
Specs of the test system here done in a quote block - Do you mean like this: (?) dual-core, WinXP SP2 up-to-date
Supported OSesWin 95/98/ME/XP/2000 + PRO, Apple, Mac OX (Re Vista? -I dont know- I got this info from a sellers website - couldnt find relevant info on the product homepage thumb down )
Support MethodsCall Toll Free (US) 1866 WE-MOUSE (1 866 936 6873). Outside the U.S. (+1) 516 747 5665. At their website you have to register/login to get support - havent tried yet
Trial Version Available?Not sure of their return policies ..
Pricing Scheme$87 here, £79 here, 86 euros+tax(20% in germany)+delivery=118euros
Reviewer Donation Link Donate to tomos, the Author
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product I've given them loads of money for this mouse tongue


Intro: and Who is this app designed for:

It's a "vertical" mouse aimed mainly at people who are having trouble with wrist/arm/shoulder related to using regular mouse


outlined some in this foto cause it wasnt so clear with the dark background (click fotos to enlarge)
each of those squares on the green cutting mat are one centimetre (2.5 cm = 1 inch)



well,
I dont think anyone, excluding gamers(!), would pay this much (118 euros I mean) for a mouse unless they're having trouble in some way related to the use of regular mouse. I should probably state at this stage that I do have problems with my left shoulder (I'm left handed). In the past I've had problems with my wrist, arm, elbow as well but not at the moment.

With this mouse, the hand actually rests completely on the mouse, thumb to top. You can move the mouse and leave the hand completely relaxed. I personally at this stage cant really say how good this is - I like it a lot but it reminds me of the first time I drove a car with 5 gears (as opposed to just 4) - I found it so incredibly difficult to do this little extra movement that I wasnt used to doing. Likewise now, I'm aware of muscles in my shoulder & down my back that probably have never made these specific movements ..
This unfortunately means that I still have relatively little control over the mouse ..
When I get used to using this I'll post an update


The Good

The hand can rest completely relaxed on the mouse in the "upright" position (thumb to top)
Dont know can I emphasise how good this feels! So far it balances out all the cons

Doesnt discriminate against left-handed people - both left and right mouses are same price

Looks very good  embarassed




Discussion including The needs improvement section

the weight of my hand/arm causes the mouse to drag a bit heavily and catch on the mousepad on the keyboard side of the mouse (weight comes down more on that side) - A possible solution to this catching/dragging would be if they added a third pad to the underside of the mouse on this side.

The scroll button is almost unusable - especially considering the mouse is aimed at people with, ehh .. problems. It's stiff to scroll and awkward to use. They suggest rolling it by "using the inside of the middle finger" - sounds like an after thought to me..
IMO it should be placed more towards the front of mouse where you're fingertips would be - or maybe under the thumb but I guess this could be a problem for some people.

In the manual they say you shouldnt need "to use the tip of the fingers to press the mouse buttons causing the fingers to claw". They then say: "a small movement of the finger easily presses the buttons" - I personally (so far) find this "small movement of the finger" incredibly difficult and tiring - but maybe again that's like getting used to the fifth gear.
Add to that:-
The top button is difficult to click - it's simply too short - click photo to enlarge to see buttons & mouse outline clearly



as you can see even my middle finger extends beyond the button, but it's the top one I have problems with -
They say there's three crease-lines on your wrist. They recommend aligning the middle crease with the edge of the mouse. That's very specific advice.
[edit] if I push the back of my hand against the outside of the mouse & then line up my wrist properly I can then better reach the buttons. Unfortunately this doesnt feel very comfortable for the bone on the underside of my wrist but I'll try it for a while [/edit]
Problem there is, as said above my fingers extend beyond the buttons (for the record: my hand, held upright, measures 7.8"/20cm from the first/top wrist crease to the tip of my middle finger - I know a lot of people with a lot bigger hands ...)
If I pull my hand back in order to better reach the buttons with fingertips my hand keels over a bit & therefore is no longer vertical

It's very difficult to find stuff at their website. No search box - that I could find at any rate. No FAQ's either but they do have a What to Expect page (The website I find the most frustrating thing in all this thumb down)

They offer a mousepad at their site, they say to avoid older style cloth or hard plastic pads.
I have "new style" cloth gamer mousepad so not sure how that fits in - they talk somewhere (cant find now) about polishing or shining up the mousepad so I'm not sure what type of surface it is. In their online shop they dont say how big the mousepad is. It's not available in Europe that I could find
This is an important topic because when you move the mouse you are also moving the dead weight of the relaxed arm & hand. I can imagine a "polished" surface might be easier to work on than my cloth surfaced mouse pads.

They offer a software "Nib" or "McNib" (info in this pdf: http://aerobicmouse.com/NibInstructions.pdf) which saves you from clicking. There's also links to videos on the What to Expect page. This costs $75 (ouch) I didnt bother checking out other currencies - if you pause moving the mouse it clicks - this reminds me of a laptop I was using for a while with a touchpad that was setup to click like that - drove me mad but might be helpful 1) if you're desperate; 2) because of the difficulty clicking top button because of (IMO) poor design.


Why I think you should use this product
Jury is out here smiley
As said above, it's just incredibly comfortable to rest your hand in there ..

From their website:



How does it compare to similar apps

unfortunately I can't say from experience. My sister has recently bought the Evolution vertical mouse & she's still not happy with it after two weeks. (she lives a good few thousand miles away so I cant drop by & check!)

I read a review in c't magazine (#4/2008 - deutsch) which reviewed a bunch of vertical mice and I chose this one in spite of a warning about the scroll wheel. I thought it sounded the best but it was a realistic article which basically concluded that all mice reviewed had drawbacks.
Reviewed were:
WACOM Graphire4 (CTE640), Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, WACOM Bamboo (MTE-450/KO-B), Designer AirObic 2, Ullman PenClic Maus, Animax Anir Vertikale Maus, EVOLUTION VerticalMouse 3, [Apparently the Evolution mouse = the Evoluent mouse (maybe European/American naming)] Contour Design Perfit Mouse Optical, Contour Design Rollermouse Pro, Humanscale Whale Mouse, HELA Grip Maus, Sun-Flex Nomus, Cirque Smart Cat Pro, Logitech TrackMan Wheel
Download article (German language) for money (90 euro-cents) here


Conclusions

  • from reply #12 below:
    The best thing about this mouse is the comfort of the hand support that allows complete relaxation of your hand. The wrist soreness has completely disappeared since using this mouse
    ...
    Unfortunately, because all motion is with the arm and wrist and not with the fingers, this mouse design does not allow for fine control of the cursor on the screen. Also, as you point out, the position and action of the buttons is awkward.

  • so, helpful if you have wrist problems (as Cranioscopical says, well worth it if it helps) with the drawback that it's not suitable for fine work and see next point -
  • if you have shoulder pain/problems DON'T buy this mouse - your shoulder has to do the movements that you probably previously did with your wrist/lower arm
  • I havent sent it back (too late soon)
  • I dont want to send it back
  • I dont know will it work out
  • I hope they take all my criticism in a constructive vein - I'm really only writing all this cause I like this mouse smiley (& see also post #2)
  • Price is too high in my opinion. Price of software is far too high I think (I shouldnt be saying that here at dc should I undecided)
  • Mouse AND software cost $150 - I think they should offer an even larger reduction to anyone wanting to get both at one time - otherwise only desperate or rich people will go for the double package at that price


Links to other reviews of this application

from above:
I read a review in c't magazine (#4/2008 - deutsch) which reviewed a bunch of vertical mice and I chose this one in spite of a warning about the scroll wheel (Reviewed were:
Quote
WACOM Graphire4 (CTE640), Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, WACOM Bamboo (MTE-450/KO-B), Designer AirObic 2, Ullman PenClic Maus, Animax Anir Vertikale Maus, EVOLUTION VerticalMouse 3, Contour Design Perfit Mouse Optical, Contour Design Rollermouse Pro, Humanscale Whale Mouse, HELA Grip Maus, Sun-Flex Nomus, Cirque Smart Cat Pro, Logitech TrackMan Wheel
Download article (German language) for money (90 euro-cents) here
[First major update/edit will be in maroon colour font]
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 02:01:32 PM by tomos » Logged

Tom
tomos
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 03:55:30 PM »

I've been avoiding doing my accounts ....
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Tom
cranioscopical
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 05:21:51 PM »

Price is too high in my opinion.

Thanks for the review, it'll be interesting to see how  you get on.

If it eases discomfort in your arm/wrist perhaps almost no price is too high.

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Chris
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 05:45:19 PM »

Another alternative is the Evoluent Vertical mouse(http://www.evoluent.com/).  I have one left hand and one right hand (so I can switch it up between work and home).  I like them, but working on my posture has helped way more than the veritcal mouse (please forget about finding that perfect chair, YOU have to have correct posture not your chair). 

How you hold your shoulders directly affects your wrists.  The book that's helped me the most in this area is "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back," which is $16 on Amazon.  (http://www.amazon.com/Ste...qid=1219617750&sr=1-1)  My back, shoulder, and wrist pain has been reduced drastically using the methods in this book... $16 very well spent.  For those of you who like getting something for nothing, here is a youtube video of a seminar Esther (the author) gave at Google (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE).

Obviously poor posture is not the cause of all pain.  Vertical mice are nice, but they will not correct pain caused by poor posture. 

Kevin
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 05:50:21 PM by kfitting » Logged
tomos
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 01:20:49 AM »

Price is too high in my opinion.

Thanks for the review, it'll be interesting to see how  you get on.

If it eases discomfort in your arm/wrist perhaps almost no price is too high.

agreed, I shouldn't moan smiley I think it's just the fact I'm so ambiguous about it ...
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Tom
tomos
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 01:33:42 AM »

Another alternative is the Evoluent Vertical mouse(http://www.evoluent.com/)
more confusion with names,
apparently the Evoluent mouse = the Evolution mouse (maybe European/American naming). So that's the one my sister has
Quote
My sister has recently bought the Evolution vertical mouse & she's still not happy with it after two weeks. (she lives a good few thousand miles away so I cant drop by & check!)
says she finds it very heavy & hasnt yet gottten used to the new movements. I'll pass on your book recommendation to her.

How you hold your shoulders directly affects your wrists.  The book that's helped me the most in this area is "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back," which is $16 on Amazon.  (http://www.amazon.com/Ste...qid=1219617750&sr=1-1)  My back, shoulder, and wrist pain has been reduced drastically using the methods in this book... $16 very well spent.  For those of you who like getting something for nothing, here is a youtube video of a seminar Esther (the author) gave at Google (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE)
Agreed -
I used have much more problems with wrist/arm/elbow but simply attempting to sit straight/properly seems to have been the solution to most of them.
I suspect to be honest, that my shoulder problem is related to being stressed/tense when I work AND to using right-handed mouse with my left hand without changing the buttons around.

Will have to defer that video till later (it's over 50 minutes). Thanks for the links smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 05:44:52 AM »

Yeah, I was trying to just "sit up straight" before I got the book, then I learned what proper posture was!

But, if you already have decent posture (like my dad) you wont be amazed by the book.  It still helps and will make you more conscious of what you're doing, but it wont be as revolutionary.

Kevin
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 08:46:50 AM »


agreed, I shouldn't moan smiley I think it's just the fact I'm so ambiguous about it ...
Not to mention ambidextrous  smiley

A  good moan never hurt anybody...

Thanks, in part, to the revival of posture comments via this thread, I'm trying to remember to sit up straight.  The keyboard looks so far away!  Wink


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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008, 01:08:37 PM »

I have one left hand and one right hand.

Something else we share in common!

Seriously, though - why do you switch the hand you use between home and work? (Yes! I am a Nosy Parker...).
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kfitting
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 04:41:42 PM »

Well, at first it was just because my right hand hurt too much from using it all day at work then using it at night at home.  But, after the first day or so, it was more because it's a challenge.  Now, I barely notice which hand I'm using and I "feel more ambidextous."  I've always been slightly ambidextrous (I have a hard time figuring out which hand to hold a raquetball racket in), but it's more noticeable now. ... more of a conversation piece.

Using different hands is good, vertical mice helped the pain slightly, but posture is the most important change I made for wrist pain.

Kevin

Kevin
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 06:16:41 PM »

Heh, heh... just wondered! I have the same "capacity" for using either hand, actually. I only realised it when I started working and people would comment on weird things like my ability to sweep or mop the floor with either hand (ie with my left or right hand at the top of the handle -who knew that this is "odd"?!) or skip rocks across water or throw a football with either hand. FWIW, my handwriting is legible when I use my left hand, but I have to concentrate more while I am doing it...

Good comments on the posture - I'm working on it!
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tomos
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2008, 09:08:51 AM »

I thought I'd start a thread related to ideas about how we should sit, stand, lift stuff even,
especially in relation to how we work and any problems we might have due possibly to poor posture.

quoted your book/video recommendations kfitting (great video btw thumbs up)
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2008, 03:43:32 PM »

I have used this same mouse for the last couple of years.
I bought it when I experienced prolonged wrist soreness after using an ordinary mouse.

The best thing about this mouse is the comfort of the hand support that allows complete relaxation of your hand. The wrist soreness has completely disappeared since using this mouse. I adjusted the arm rest of my chair to allow my elbow to rest on the chair as my hand rests on the mouse, letting my arm relax as much as possible.

Unfortunately, because all motion is with the arm and wrist and not with the fingers, this mouse design does not allow for fine control of the cursor on the screen. Also, as you point out, the position and action of the buttons is awkward. The left button especially require a finger press in a horizontal plane, but the natural motion of the index finger is 45 degrees downward. You must make a conscious effect when clicking.

The quality of the mouse in general is disappointing. I had to take it apart and repair it soon after getting it. Inside, a small bit of plastic had been glued to the button to help it reach the switch, but it had fallen off and needed regluing; not what you would expect for 100 USD.

I can not comment on the included software. I remember trying it, but did not find it useful. It might be intended for those with more significant physical impairment.

All in all, this mouse has relieved my wrist pain, so I am grateful for it. I don’t understand why it is so expensive. For my second computer I approximated this mouse design with a Logitech Trackman Wheel Optical trackball by gluing a 35 degree wedge under the left side to roll the wrist outward. It works very well for $30.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 04:19:40 PM by bzeng » Logged
tomos
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 02:04:04 PM »

thanks for your response bzeng -
it's good to hear the mouse is helpful if you have wrist problems
Me, I've given up on this mouse because of my shoulder pain - to be clear: it only ever said it could be helpful for wrist pain (& maybe elbow?)

I've updated the review, in particular the Conclusions

Conclusions

  • from reply #12 below:
    The best thing about this mouse is the comfort of the hand support that allows complete relaxation of your hand. The wrist soreness has completely disappeared since using this mouse
    ...
    Unfortunately, because all motion is with the arm and wrist and not with the fingers, this mouse design does not allow for fine control of the cursor on the screen. Also, as you point out, the position and action of the buttons is awkward.

  • so, helpful if you have wrist problems (as Cranioscopical says, well worth it if it helps) with the drawback that it's not suitable for fine work and see next point -
  • if you have shoulder pain/problems DON'T buy this mouse - your shoulder has to do the movements that you probably previously did with your wrist/lower arm
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 02:05:38 PM by tomos » Logged

Tom
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