Windows 98/95, Mac OS 7.5 or later
It looked so cool, I had to check one out. So I got my hands on the Cat
Eye FinRing from BossWave.
(Well, actually I got my finger on it). The idea of being able to control
my computer’s mouse remotely from my finger sounded great. But would it work as
advertised? And if it did work, what would it take to transform your style of
computing, after so many years of standard mouse use?
Let’s just say from the onset- yes it does work as advertised. The unit
is powered by two small LR44 button batteries. Battery life according to the
manual is around 100 hrs of continous use or typically 3-5 months.
Installing the Cat Eye FinRing was not too difficult, except
that I had trouble loading the driver. It requires the Human Interface Device
driver, which I had to load off the Windows98 CD. Unfortunately, I couldn’t
remember where I left it. It would have saved me a lot of time if they just
added the driver to the CD that comes with the unit.
It’s USB, so installation, after you have the driver, is easy. You plug the
receiver into your USB port, and it immediately talks to the transmitter in the Cat
Eye FinRing. Movement of the cursor occurs by clicking on one of the Cat
Eye FinRing buttons, and tilting your wrist backward and forward, or
side to side.
I’ll have to admit, it was hard to get used to. Here’s a good analysis of
what it’s like to use the Cat Eye FinRing. Remember when you
were a kid and you played pill puzzles, or Labyrinth,
the game that had the steel ball on top of a teetering board? You had to try to
maneuver the ball into a hole or through a maze without it falling off the edge
of the table. Well that steel ball is now your cursor. I found that unless
you had a very steady hand, it was hard to control the cursor. It started
rolling in one direction, and I either overcompensated, sending the cursor
careening off the screen, or had it balanced in such a way that I was afraid to
move my thumb to click the button. When I had the cursor exactly where I wanted
it, I sometimes moved it just by the process of trying to push a button.
There are some tips that can help control the cursor. For instance, it took a
while to get used to the fact that while the cursor was free to move, all you
had to do was click a button and the ring would no longer transmit movement to
the cursor, causing it to stop moving. But as I already stated, just the
movement of trying to press a button, caused the cursor to move.
And although they say that you can keep it on your finger while you type, I
was not able to type with it on my finger because it obstructs my vision of the
keypads. I had to keep removing it to type, which kind of defeated the purpose
of having freedom from the mouse.
I had to go back to the old mouse, though. I would say that this product
would be great if you could set the movement speed. For instance, I’m sure that
there are those with a very steady hand that would be comfortable with the Cat
Eye FinRing, but it moved too fast for me. A speed setting would help
the user get used to it while they are trying to adjust to it. (There is a ton
of technical data on the BossWave web site, for those who need to know how this
thing works. )
The Cat Eye FinRing is cool, and it does work. It would be
useful if you are planning a meeting where you will need to control your
computer from a distance. But if you need to make a good first impression,
practice a lot! It might also be helpful to someone with a physical disability,
who didn’t have the ability to use a conventional mouse, for one reason or
Price: $80.00 (includes delivery)
Does what it is designed to do. (It works)
Difficult to use if you don’t have a steady hand.
May have to remove from finger to type on keyboard.