With the Air Mouse, Gyration has a portable optical mouse with a wireless connection - but much more than that, it is a full motion-sensing mouse, able to operate seemingly in thin air.
Gyration has been making motion-sensing devices such as computer mice for several years, and over that time we've seen such technology with gyros and accelerometers used in anyting from Wii games stations to the iPhone and iPod touch.
The Gyration Air Mouse connects to your laptop or desktop machine via 2.4GHz radio wireless, and comes complete with a USB receiver module, smaller than the average USB memory stick, that fits into a spare port. And when the receiver is not needed, it fits right inside the actual mouse into a special flush-fit cavity.
No drivers are required for normal use, as the computer - Windows or Mac - recognises the USB dongle as if the Gyration Air Mouse was a traditional mouse plugged in.
This compact Gyration Air Mouse fits easily into the hand and is well weighted in the palm. As a regular wireless mouse, we found it a little wanting in terms of precision, requiring some care in accurate mouse positioning. But it really comes into its own when used in the air.
By holding the Gyration Air Mouse in the air and squeezing a small button on the underside, the mouse cursor becomes ‘active', and you need only make some wrist movements up/down and side-to-side to see the cursor almost magically track your hand movements on screen.
To save large arm movements when traversing the screen, you simply release the Gyration Air Mouse's underside button, move your hand to its rest position, and repress to start again - just as you would when you lift a regular mouse from the end of a mousemat before bringing it back to its rest position. Alternatively, press the button twice to lock the cursor ‘always-on'
In addition, Windows users have the option of installing GyroTools software, which allows you to launch applications and even annotate presentations, with the help of three extra buttons that lie around the Gyration Air Mouse's scroll wheel.
The Gyration Air Mouse is a well-made mouse that, excusing its less than perfect laser tracking, is a real boon for use at home to operate media centre systems from the comfort of the sofa, or thanks to its 30m range, for impressive business presentations.