Friday, April 17, 2009

Input Devices and LabVIEW Programming

I came across this post on the NI forums today with a screenshot of a cool office setup. One thing that caught my eye was the Ergodex DX1 input device. I read up on it, and was impressed by the price ($150 seemed relatively inexpensive), but was disappointed with the lack of Vista support. I would have seriously considered getting one of these, just to see how I could use it to speed up LabVIEW programming...but my new dev machine at work is a Vista box, so it's a no go. I was thinking it would be great if you could have one of those buttons be mobile, and essentially be a mouse, but I don't get the impression that's supported behavior, judging from their online documentation.

I've been thinking lately of ways to speed up LabVIEW programming, and computer interaction in general. There are very expensive eyeball-tracking devices that are primarily marketed toward disabled individuals, but nothing that I know of for the general populace at an affordable price. I've always thought that, short of mind reading, the movement of the eyeballs is probably the fastest potential way to control a computer. However, I also imagine the accuracy required in the optical hardware is probably what makes the current offerings so expensive. But as our screens get bigger, we'll be taking more time to accurately move the mouse to specific locations on the screen. Someday (maybe far off in the future), I think we'll come up with some more efficient interfaces.

Anyway, I always think about these ideas in the context of making LabVIEW programming faster and easier, but I think they would benefit the computer world at large. Sometimes I think it would be cool to prototype new input devices and gauge their potential, but my Mechanical Engineering skills are far too rusty at this point.

No comments:

Post a Comment