To call the Contour input device a Roller Mouse is not to do it justice. But maybe Computer Input System Alternative to the Mouse If You Are Having Medical Issues was just a little too long.
Contour Roller Mouse may very well be a welcome alternative for all those who curse the ordianry mouse for being the source of their carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Contour Roller Mouse, as it is conveniently if not accurately named, is mostly a rest area for the heels of your hands as they are positioned over an existing keyboard, but its main feature is a rolling. sliding cylinder, which slides like an elongated bead on an abacus. Rolling the cylinder moves the cursor up and down, moving the cylinder laterally moves the cursor right and left. Several programmable buttons are embedded on the device.
While most CAD users would think spending upwards of $300 for an input device an extravagance -- especially when the mouse came free with the computer -- it could be a small price to pay for those suffering from repetitive movement disorders. According to Doug Margereson, who sells the Contour device at Autodesk University, those with ailments from using regular mouse are the main customers of the Contour Roller Mouse.
In addition to the roller device (which will also do click function when depressed) the Roller Mouse has several buttons with various functions. All are programmable if you want to change them. The buttons may take a bit of getting used to as the buttons did not seem instantly intuitive but that could happen over time. It would help if the printing near the buttons was a bit bigger, too. A small roller below the big roller functions as a zoom control.
For more information
1. The Latest Thinking on Computer-Related Pain, Ingfei Chen, New York Times, Sep 19, 2008