Introducing Flow: A Designer’s Alternative To The Mouse

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Flow gesture-based controller
The Flow 3D controller. Image obtained with thanks from the Flow Indiegogo campaign page.

Designers at Senic, a Y Combinator startup company have developed Flow, a wireless 3D touch controller technology which aims to replace the traditional mouse. The Flow controller appears to be aimed at graphics designers who want to adjust the many features of advanced graphic design programs like Adobe Photoshop, as well as 3D modelling and video editing software. The Flow controller operates via touch, hovering, and a wheel.  When I first saw the attractive puck-shaped device, I was excited because the thought of being able to control your computer’s pointer (and more) with hand gestures without touching it sounded very convenient, so I had to take a look.

Flow from Senic on Vimeo.

Key Benefits Of The Flow 3D Controller

Volume control is something that needs to be quickly accessible. Accessibility of controls is even more important when skipping through songs until you find the next one you want to listen to. The Flow controller enables users to flip through songs with a sweeping hand motion, and the volume can be adjusted by moving your hand up and down. The number one issue I have with music playback is skipping through songs to find the one I want to hear. Shuffling doesn’t cut it. That sweeping motion is as easy as anything I could hope for. Sometimes people just want to lie down and listen to music with little effort.

A Minor, But Nice Benefit – You Can Eat While Using It! (Sometimes)

In certain cases, you can eat while using it — If you are playing a mouse-operated game, you may be able to move your character around while you’re eating. We have all experienced the consequences of soiling our mice with grease and food while eating. There are other features, and many more details to learn about the Flow 3D controller, but I didn’t mention them all here. You can see them in the video above.

Disadvantages

If you aren’t comfortable holding your hand up in the air for long, this controller may not suit you. The Flow controller sounds like it could be a great compliment to the traditional mouse, rather than a replacement for it. As a secondary controller to a mouse, holding your hand up in the air to play games or do graphics design for a bit shouldn’t be a problem.

This device does not yet support mobile devices. The development team is focused on the Mac version for now.

Source: Senic’s Indiegogo Campaign.