A hands-free mouse allows you to perform computer mouse functions without using your hands. There are various options for hands free control of your mouse on a computer screen such as reflective dot trackers, wearable sensors, speech recognition or even eye trackers. One other possible group of devices are Lip and chin Joysticks.
These products are designed specifically for users with physical disabilities. They are typically USB Plug and Play, which means they will work with any computer platform that supports USB mice, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android. All can be customized using the built-in mouse settings in the operating system, while some will also include setup software for further customization.
To activate the mouse buttons. The IntegraMouse+, Jouse3, and QuadJoy incorporate a sip/puff switch into their joystick, so that a sip action clicks one mouse button, and a puff action clicks the other. Other options are switches, the BJOY Chin has two circular switch pads, one on either side of the joystick, which can be pressed using the chin or cheek. And the TetraMouse has a second joystick that is devoted to button actions, right next to the joystick for cursor control. Low cost options are the Tobias’ mouse and the Flipmouse. This are open source hardware and software projects with documented instruction on how to build and 3D Print. The user moves the cursor by using a mouthpiece. The right mouse button is operated by pushing the mouthpiece towards the case. The left mouse button is emulated by a sensor that recognizes if the user sucks air through it.
Some Lip and chin Joysticks options to consider are
QuadJoy 3 $1,398.60
BJOY Chin €445
TetraMouse XA2 $449
Tobias’ mouse <€50 for parts
- The good: These hand free options can potentially have precise control and are not effected by lighting or sound.
The not so good: do require a line-of-sight to the computer, and commercial options are expensive.
The verdict: If you need or want the ability to make very fine cursor control, and don’t want to wear a sensor or reflective dot then these joysticks are a good option for hands free control.