Time was when anything called a mouse lived inside the walls of your house and sneaked out to raid the cupboards. Then, beginning in 1965 and becoming ubiquitous by the 21st century, you had a computer aid called a mouse that allowed you to click on computer commands to select them.
Today, a Red Dot design winner in the Energy category, presented by Chiu Shih-Chan, attempts to fix the havoc created by computers and mice and all those long hours many of us have spent hunched over a keyboard completing work assignments, getting stiff necks, sore shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome, even though modern computer setups are ergonomically designed to prevent just those sorts of stresses.
Also called a mouse, but looking and operating more like a yo-yo (and thus the name), Shih-Chan’s YoYo Mouse, which is recharged kinetically via the same action as a yo-yo, operates on batteries and is designed to relieve some of the stresses and injuries to the hand, wrist and shoulder caused by prolonged computer use. It also addresses the fact, recently discovered by researchers, that prolonged periods seated in front of a computer monitor can cause a number of ailments, from depression to stroke, and it does this because most people who use a yo-yo prefer to do it standing up or even moving around.
While not nearly as glamorous as the Copenhagen Wheel we reported on in March, or as useful as personal energy harvesting from exercise or recreational activities—the epitome of which has to be the Green Wheel concept—the YoYo Mouse targets a long-standing problem among computer users, namely carpal tunnel syndrome, an extremely painful condition in which the median nerve from the forearm into the palm of the hand becomes pinched in the bony canal in the wrist. In fact, the motion used to activate the YoYo Mouse looks to be just what physical therapists have carpal tunnel sufferers engage in, both prior to and after successful surgery to open the bony canal.