SlimBlade TrackBall

The California-based company Kensington has recently introduced the SlimBlade TrackBall, an innovative device that offers a one-touch user interface for navigation, media controls, document editing, and photo browsing.

The new gadget is compatible with both Macintosh and PC machines. Kensington’s product combines hardware and software into one integrated interface and according to its maker, allows for the first time ever navigation and manipulation of digital content through the ball itself. For instance, users can now control various interface functions with the rotation of the ball, such as media control adjustments (like volume control), photo browsing, and web navigation.

The sleek design consists of a low profile, stationary design with the ruby red ball sitting atop a gunmetal gray base. While the device is not wireless (it uses a standard USB connection), it is sized fairly – taking up similar desk space to that of the common mouse-pad. Moreover, Kensington claims that the new device requires no wrist pad.

Recent CEA research shows that over 70 percent of the applications used in the home are centered on entertainment, music, and media. Kensington published these results in order to convince users of the advantages of using the trackball. Although this technology is as old as the regular mouse, over the years the mouse has become the standard choice among most users. Now, Kensington hopes to make it popular once more.

“Our Kensington SlimBlade Trackball is a true standout that should become a ‘must have’ for today’s digital lifestyle-savvy consumers,” said Juan Rodriguez, Senior Global Product Manager at Kensington. “We have been known for our trackball leadership for 25 years, so it is only natural that we would be the ones to accomplish this breakthrough user interface, where ‘now, the ball does it all’. And it fits perfectly into our award-winning smart made simple SlimBlade Collection. This product is going to set a new standard for the computer/user relationship from the moment it comes to market.”

According to its specifications, the SlimBlade supports most web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari; other common software supported are Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple iPhoto, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word. The product is currently available for sale in major retail stores at the price of approximately 130 dollars.

TFOT has previously covered SafeMouse, an innovative mouse with 4GB of internal storage that backs up user files, and CombiMouse, a combination between keyboard and mouse that provides instant transition between the two operations without the need to switch a hand from one to the other. Other related TFOT stories include a piece on the Scope Node Laser Sensor Mouse, which sports a 1,600dpi laser sensor, and the Tai-Chi, a “tangible acoustic interface” that will allow users to convert virtually any tangible object into an interactive surface.

Fore more information on the SlimBlade TrackBall, see its product page.