Mauz to turn your iPhone into a wireless motion and visual gesture controller

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There are quite a few excellent apps that’ll turn your iPhone into a wireless mouse for your Mac/PC (Mobile Mouse being one of them), but one company is looking to drastically improve upon the experience with a tiny peripheral called the Mauz. Combined with a dedicated app, the Mauz (the first of its kind in the ‘appcessory’ world) essentially will turn your iPhone into a motion and visual gesture controlled wireless mouse.

MAUZ is a smartphone enabled pointing device that allows you to control computers around you using your phone, gestures and visual cues…

MAUZ allows users to control computers and media centers with a kinetic three dimensional computer mouse – connected to one’s smartphone. MAUZ app will support interaction with programs using motion and visual gestures. On the leading edge of Human Interface Device (HID) innovation, MAUZ offers advanced features and simplicity of use. The MAUZ app automatically pops-up once the user plugs the device to the smartphone, prompting control of computer, media center, etc.

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Once connected to your computer via Wifi (the free app and desktop software are required), you can simply use your iPhone as a regular mouse, or tilt the phone and the app will change the mouse into a touchpad interface. Then there’s control using motion gestures. For example:

  • 3D Navigation – Works similar to a Wii controller for your computer – just move the phone around to rotate your design work / flight simulator / whatever else…
  • Program gestures to fit your need – World of Warcraft enthusiast? Slay that dragon with a swish of your MAUZ; an avid PowerPoint user? Create a gesture to align objects to the left; devoted web surfer? Create a gesture to move back and forward between your pages – Whatever your poison is… create a gesture for it.

Most promising of all will be its ability for visual gestures, which Spicebox is comparing to the technology seen in the 2002 movie Minority Report.

MAUZ is changing the game or at least the way we play games, watch TV shows, control computers and listen to music… with a simple hand movement you can do so much. MAUZ responds to how your hand moves above the phone’s camera, if you have to align objects to the left just signal to the left and if you want to zoom in/out or pan the earth in Google Earth simply move your hand back/front and sideways to see that ball rolling!

The MAUZ visual gestures are pre-programmed to interact with different computer applications.  A swish of the hand to the right can mean the next song on your playlist or change the color of an object in Photoshop. You can also customize them to your own needs.

Today, Spicebox launched the Mauz Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $150,000 to bring the prototype to market in June. As an “Early Adopter Special”, $45 will net you a brand new Mauz for either the iPhone 4/4S (estimated delivery of June 2013) or iPhone 5 (Aug 2013 delivery), along with a MiniBag to carry on your Mauz on a key-chain. And for a pledge of $270, you’ll not only get a new Mauz in June/Aug, but you’ll even get to beta test a prototype (in March) and its accompanying app.

It’s hard to say for how well the Mauz will actually work, but if it does deliver on what it’s promised, it could well change the way we use the iPhone to interact with our PCs and Macs at home and in the work place. If you’re interested in making a pledge for the Mauz, you’ll have exactly 58 days to do so. Once the early bird specials are gone, they’ll go for $59, with a planned retail price of $69 when finally released.

Press Release

PALO ALTO, California (January 8, 2013) – Mauz (www.mauzup.com), the only appcessory to turn the iPhone into a motion and visual gesture controlled wireless, optical mouse, launched today a Kickstarter campaign for $150,000 to mass produce the prototype for market by June, 2013.

Developed by Spicebox, LLC to replace the standard wireless computer mouse and become the first commercially available, next-generation Human Interface Device (HID) for the massive, untapped market of smartphone enabled HIDs, Mauz (rhymes with How’s) is simple to use and full of advanced features.  Simply plug Mauz into an iPhone, quickly download the free app and desktop software the first time to pair it, and users are able to automatically control their computers via WiFi with Minority Report-like visual and motion gestures.  Mauz’s visual gestures are powered by Nanogest, the leading touch-free gesture recognition software for iOS and Android.

Through its open SDK, developers can create sets of pre-defined “z axis”/3D gestures (rotating, flicking wrist while holding iPhone), visual gestures (hand swipes in front of iPhone’s front-facing camera) and shortkeys for their desktop software, empowering users with quick, 3D controls for gaming, creative work, entertainment center commands, and other programs.  Developers can choose to lock certain gestures and shortkeys, making them available to users through in-app purchases.  For programs without custom developer packages, users can customize visual & motion gestures and shortkeys with existing control-key shortcuts.

“The wireless mouse was a great improvement over corded versions.  But it’s become old fashioned; technologies like Wii and Kinect have led us to expect the greater freedom of controlling software through motion and visual gestures,” said Gilad Meiri, CEO of Mauz’s manufacturer Spicebox LLC.  “From hovering your hand over your phone to raise the volume; to rotating your wrist – iPhone in hand – to 3D rotate objects in graphic design software; to holding your phone and flicking your wrist left or right to rewind or advance the next PowerPoint slide, Mauz’s gesture controls feel like an extension of you.  They’re as much about instinct as they are intuitiveness.”

To demonstrate its functionality, the Mauz team has developed custom packages of gesture controls and shortkeys for five popular programs:

  • Photoshop – Slide hand forward/back above iPhone to move forward/back in a project’s edit history; zoom in/out by holding iPhone and raising/lowering hand; hold iPhone and tilt hand back to copy, forward to paste.
  • Google TV – Demonstrating how Mauz gives developers the ability to create an entirely custom user interface, when Mauz wirelessly accesses GoogleTV or any other media center software on a computer and iPhone is picked up, Mauz changes iPhone’s screen into a feature-rich remote control.  Raise/lower volume by raising/lowering hand above iPhone, change channels by waving hand left/right above iPhone – or by holding iPhone and flicking wrist left/right; flick iPhone forward to play media, back to stop.
  • PowerPoint – Two ways to start/stop presentations: hold and shake iPhone to start, shake again to stop; or, wave hand back-and-forth above iPhone once to start, again to stop; Two ways to change slides: hold iPhone and flick wrist forward for next slide, back for previous; or, wave hand above iPhone – right to advance to next slide, left to return to previous.
  • Adobe Reader – Two ways to turn pages: hold iPhone and flick wrist forward for next page, back for previous; or, wave hand above iPhone – right to turn page forward, left to turn back.
  • Blender 3D – Hold iPhone and rotate wrist to rotate 3D object on computer screen; zoom in/out on screen’s 3D image by sliding hand forward/back above iPhone; hold iPhone and tilt forward/back to scale screen’s image down/up.

These custom packages have been designed for the Mauz prototype, and may not be part of the final product when it launches in June 2013.  Predefined gestures and shortkeys confirmed for Mauz’s launch include Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers, as well as the full Microsoft Office Suite.  At launch, Mauz will work with iPhone 4 and 4s; plans to include iPhone 5 are already in development, and an Android version is expected later.

The Mauz team is giving live demos of the prototype from the floor of this year’s CES and Macworld.  Contact us to schedule a 1-on-1 demo, watch the introductory video at www.mauzup.com , or invest in the Kickstarter campaign athttp://kck.st/UBNfMA, and experience why the future of wireless computer control with undreamed of functionality is an already-ubiquitous, universal remote – otherwise known as your smartphone.

 

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