Revieiw of the Logitech iFeel USB Optical Mouse
Not long ago,
the mouse was the poor, forgotten piece of computer equipment. It
performed its job with little fanfare as the peripherals around
it (and the PC itself) got all the attention. But if you think about
it, other than your monitor, what peripheral gets more use? Well
someone at Logitech thought about it and christened an era of mouse
revolution. Mouse innovations came fast and furious: the formfitting
mouse (good), the multi-button mouse (good) the ball/marble mouse
(bad), the wheel mouse (very good), the cordless mouse (so-so) the
optical mouse (very good), and now the iFeel mouse (jury out).
I recall reading
a while back that someone was working on a way to allow users to
"feel" the web - all the bumps, bevels, and broken links.
I imagined the mouse would be outfitted with some sort of suspension
system that raised and lowered as your cursor ran across the edges
of a window or over a button. Sounded kind of cool. Thoroughly unnecessary,
but cool. Well the other day I found myself at one of our branch
offices without a mouse and rather than using the horrible pointer
embedded in my laptop (don't get me started) I decided to go get
a mouse. I ended up getting the Logitech Optical iFeel USB mouse,
figuring "what the heck."
As far as looks
go, it's sharp. The metallic blue shell is complemented by the always
neat-looking red glow of the optics underneath. The software installation
is straightforward and gives you the option of installing the iFeel
software or using it like a regular mouse. I'd say the iFeel software
is worth installing just to try it. Whether or not you'll derive
any benefit from it is a different matter.
the iFeel software reads the beveled edges of onscreen windows,
as well as any buttons or links and responds with a variety of "feels,"
including Metallic, Rubbery, Steel Drum, Sonic Vibe, and Spongy.
You can also create your own, which is more a matter of trial and
error than science. As far as my hopes for some kind of "suspension"
system that raised and lowered the mouse slightly, I was quite disappointed.
The "feel" is the result of a mechanism inside the mouse
that vibrates slightly inside the mouse (less slightly if you prefer).
The result is
more of an alert then a feel and, ultimately an annoyance. I experimented
with the various settings and ultimately decided that I wasn't going
to find one that actually made it feel like I was running over a
bevel or button as much as giving my palm a slight massage.
Hey, we all
can use a change of pace in our daily computer lives. That's why
screensavers, desktop photos, cartoon icons, and the like proliferate,
they're novel. Unfortunately, so far the idea of "feeling"
your desktop is still just that, a novelty.
Tech Scores scores (1-5):
nothing for it
idea, poor execution
better than it is