From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A pointing device is any computer hardware component (specifically human interface device) that allows a user to input spatial (ie, continuous and multi-dimensional) data to a computer. CAD systems and graphical user interfaces (GUI) allow the user to control and provide data to the computer using physical gestures - point, click, and drag - typically by moving a hand-held mouse across the surface of the physical desktop and activating switches on the mouse. Movements of the pointing device are echoed on the screen by movements of the mouse pointer (or cursor) and other visual changes.
Kinds of Pointer Devices
While the most common pointing device by far is the mouse, many more devices have been developed.
- pointing stick
- head pointer
- soap mouse
- eye tracking devices
- Various kinds of digitizing tablets which use a stylus.
- A "data glove" that translates the user's movements to computer gestures.
See also list of input devices.
Pointing device can also refer to a special "stick" (sometimes telescopic, to reduce the length when not in use), or a lamp with a narrow light beam that is pointed at a map, blackboard, slide screen, movie screen, etc.; sometimes the light is in the form of an arrow.
3D Pointing Devices
PhaseSpace produces a 3D pointing device consisting of multiple linear detectors triangulating the position of a light source. This provides a spatial resolution of 3,600 x 3,600 at 480 frames per second. By modulating the Light Source, multiple sources can be identified and tracked simultaneously. This can be used for Virtual Reality, Augmented reality, Training and other applications where a three dimensional input device is needed, or the interface is designed to be by pointing and gesturing rather than operating on a button or joystick.
- Performance Capture and Optical Motion Capture - Active Marker LED based real time motion tracking hardware and software for VR, AR, Telerobotics, medical and entertainment applications.
This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.