WarMouse Meta, the 18 button mouse
The WarMouse Meta, former OpenOffice Mouse, is an 18 button mouse recognized in 2009. It is fair to say it never penetrated any market due to its unique functionality. The mouse ships with a custom built software to bind OS or application behavior to the 18 Buttons (including double click), scroll wheel and joystick.
Engadget reviewed it in 2010 and were less than impressed. Short version, Joanna Stern holds it by its tail like an animal, followed by binding a button to load the Engadget website in Firefox (who would ever do that?) to later play a bit of World of Warcraft (as she likes running around from time to time in this virtual world). Long version can be found here.
In all seriousness, this mouse was designed to play world of Warcraft, but would off course allow other games too. Let us assume it worked really well for WoW (not really), the chance of success would still be very slim as Razer secured this niche when they released the Naga. They realized most gamers does not use their thumb to its full potential and added a grid of 12 buttons. This prevents the keyboard hand from using complex key bindings like Shift + Alt + T or mistakably hitting Alt + F4 while mashing those upper rows. However, adding 16 buttons on top of a mouse makes the WarMouse’s ‘behind’ a bit too crowded.
So why write about something that maybe should not have been created in the first place? Well, not too many of these were made and one would think the few survivors now live in a boxes or is getting wedgied by its relatives in the Buxton collection. This is not all true, because one of them are now traveling with air mail to the Swedish north! After receiving an email from eBay’s tracking function and landing a £30 bid there is now a very proud owner of one of these badboys.
For a few years it has being a privilege to be able to combine a fascination for devices with work and school projects. While learning to prototype with input devices it became more clear that they are just packaged components, hence not bound to specific media. Think, what you do with a game controller if you did not need to make a game? This also resulted in developing Kaliber with Jules.
If one thinks of the WarMouse as an off-the-shelf product it is quite possibly the worst designed mouse we never used. As a platform of multiple components it is a gold mine of potential applications and stupid experiments. If Kaliber recognizes it as an HID it could possibly receive around 30+ variables (positioning, buttons, scroll and both directions of the joystick). If it does not work it will be donated to Bill or someone with a severe condition of Polydactyly.