Can you imagine controlling your computer with a peripheral that resembles a fluffy bar of soap? Well hear us out, because the Soap pointing device from Microsoft Research offers to combine the accuracy of a traditional optical mouse with the freedom of a wireless, even desk-free peripheral. The device, which consists of a soft, fluffy hull coating a wireless optical mouse core, reads the fabric's movement when the user applies outside pressure, and reports it as a position (think: rolling a bar of soap around in your hand). Through a demonstration in combination with a mobile keyboard in Unreal Tournament (albeit with dumb bots), the creators have shown that Soap offers a degree of accuracy that comes close to a table-bound mouse; when the user squeezes, the Soap can even outclass desktop mouse performance in large wall display setups. If users can cope with the idea of blasting away fiends in UT with a ball of fluff and Soap gets a commercial release, if nothing else you can be sure that an entire cottage industry will spring up around supplying fake eyes and tails to turn the Soap into a line-up of cute, pointable rodentia.

[Via hackaday]

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Fluffy Soap mouse works without a desk