Wireless PC Mouse Implant?

I'm new to this community, but biohacking has been a secret interest of mine for quite some time, and I have a question.

If this has been done, please send me the correct links, for searching has brought me nothing.

Is it possible, at least theoretically, to be able to implant a wireless mouse into the hand?

In theory, how this would work is that a sensor (like in a pc mouse that does not use a ball) would rest in the palm of your hand, while you could then use a small USB drive to interface wirelessly with any computer without needing to carry around a mouse. I imagine in order to get clicking functionality, small wires would stick out of your palm, and could really only be pressed if you bend your fingers a certain way (so you wouldn't click while typing). 

No idea if this could happen, but if it could, I feel that this could be a wonderful step towards complete user-interface interaction.


  • rdbrdb
    edited September 2012
    Perhaps you could have a magnet in your hand and coils in your mousepad that track the relative position of the magnet to the mousepad.  If that would work, that would greatly simplify the design on the implant end.
  • you would still need a way to click with the magnet idea. it does sound pretty good though.
  • Instead of getting it implanted, why not follow up with Pranav Mistry's (the guy who designed SixthSense) idea, and simply connect an infrared camera and beam to the computer to achieve exactly the same effect?  I imagine that if we could fit the camera and beam on a USB drive, it would achieve exactly what you're talking about.  In fact, you could program all sorts of gestures besides the mouse ones with this idea.

    If you want to use implants, though, my first thought was to embed reed sensors into a mousepad, but, unfortunately, those would only allow you to detect the presence or absence of your hand, so you couldn't do much with that.
  • While not designed as an implantable, something similar has been built as a glove: http://www.keyglove.net/  It's a chorded keyboard with enough keys that chords are mostly unnecessary.  What's of interest to you, however, is the mouse support.  It uses a combo gyro/magnetometer to get position, and is translated onto the screen.  It's theoretically possible to embed the combo thing into the back of your hand and use a small arduino embedded in a deeper part of your body, where you can fit a small bluetooth module too.  I forget who did it, but some major software vendor did a test a while back with electronics under the skin.  They found that most things like LED's and touchscreens work normally, so you could probably get away with a capacitance-derived mouse click.
  • "while you could then use a small USB drive to interface wirelessly with any computer without needing to carry around a mouse"
    you'd still have to carry around that usb-drive to interface.
    unless there's a widely established wireless standard which does not consume tons of energy i'd put that idea on hold. it does sound like a perfect project to build a gadget (like the keyglove Saumanahaii linked). i see little benefit from implanting such a thing at the time speaking.
  • Sorry for not replying in such a long time, I had a PC failure and took a while to purchase a new one. 

    Everything listed is really interesting. Especially Ian and Saumanahaii's ideas.

    In response to ThomasEgi, while you would indeed need to carry around a USB device, which can be just as bothersome, and there is no evidence of a wireless standard coming soon (though that would be wonderful). I feel that this type of development, if made widestream, would be just the thing to spur a necessity for a standard wireless medium.
  • don't know if this has been shown around here but a friend recently sent me this link: http://chrisharrison.net/index.php/Research/Abracadabra
    I gathered it is an interface you control using a magnet, such as the implants.
  • @TathaRion even with a widespread wireless standard (such as bluetooth), wireless communication tends to eat a _lot_ of energy.

    @Ben nice toy, but still same problem. requires you to carry a gadget around.
  • @ben: that is pretty neat, though.  I wouldn't mind having something like that for myself.
  • @Ben that's cool, I'd like one. It says the magnet used is much bigger than an implant magnet though unfortunately. If someone could make it react to a smaller magnet then it'd be great, you could put it on magnetic microdermals like the idermal guy did with the iPod touch


    Actually the magnets underneath holding it on would probably mess with it now I think about it. I'd love to actually do something to
    contribute cause I like this idea but I know literally nothing about electronics. Gotta start teaching myself
  • Well, I'd like such a device as well... But I, too, am only a reader of this xD
    It should not be too hard to build, while being rather unuseful for me, since my magnet is in the ringfinger and I hardly use that for pointing and stuff...

    The magnets holding some watch or something on your arm, wouldn't that harm the skin? I'm quite interested in ways to keep that harm from happening since I love magnets to keep stuff in place!
  • The magnets aren't completely sub dermal, they're microdermals with magnetic heads and there's 4 small magnets stuck to the back of the ipod. It shouldn't be harmful so long as the microdermals are all fully healed before you put anything on them. I wouldn't advise wearing it for more than a few hours at a time either cause the pull might cause migration. I think it would help to use more than 4 microdermals so the weight is spread out more. The watch would just pop on and off so I wouldn't really be in the way, search for 'idermal' on YouTube for a video. He did the procedure stupidly using the same dermal punch to do 4 microdermals and then putting the iPod straight on while the piercings were fresh but it's the only example of anyone doing it
  • edited January 2013
    A friend of mine recently bought a digital pen and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. 

    I think something like this might be able to be reverse engineered to become transdermal eventually. Here's my take on the idea.


    Assuming you're right handed you would use your left hand like a mouse mat and your index finger as the mouse. You would move the mouse by moving it gently across the hand and click by pressing with a little more pressure. Right click would be performed by tapping the other pressure sensor with your thumb. This bit could potentially be more intricate with both left and right buttons or a scroll wheel.

    The bottom half of your palm could be the keyboard (which could be tattooed on). Of course you'd have to rely on the computer having Bluetooth or carry the USB adapter with you. 
  • I use a wireless trackpad.  It may not sound as "cool" as a mouse implant, but it is much more responsive and it solves the power consumption issue by being external to the body.

    Among the wireless technologies currently available, there doesn't appear to be one that has a low enough power consumption along with a long enough range to be useful.

    The most power-hungry is Wi-Fi, which has a range of hundreds of meters, but requires a fairly large battery for continuous use.  If such a battery were implanted, there would need to be some way to wirelessly charging it without heating it up to the point where it would cause tissue damage.

    Bluetooth consumes mess power than Wi-Fi and has a range of tens of meters.  This is a popular technology for powering wireless mice, but its power requirements still make the management of a subcutaneous battery problematic.  It would still need to be charged wirelessly, but I doubt that the battery could be made small enough to implant in the hand.

    The third technology, near-field-communication has actually been successfully used in implants, but it is only viable from a distance of a few centimeters.  Also, it is designed to supply short bursts of power for exchange of limited amounts of data at a slower transmission rate than either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.  For this reason, it seems highly unlikely that it would be feasible to transmit mouse movement signals in real time.

    It would be great if something between NFC and Bluetooth could be developed because it would have quite a few uses beyond an implanted mouse.  I believe that this is the most challenging problem you would encounter in developing an implantable mouse that works well.

  • Wacom's drawing tablets use passive pens - not much more than a (very) basic pcb with a small ferrite core. Maybe if you implanted something similar you could use their tablets as mice?
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