The vast majority of computer products are designed to favor the biggest groups of users, sometimes to the exclusion of the minority. We’re not speaking about accessibility for persons with physical disabilities, but that is especially true for them as well. Even just the common keyboard and mouse are designed with the presumption that they will be used by right-handed people. And while ambidextrous mice do exist, those tend to sacrifice comfort for the sake of a symmetrical design. That doesn’t have to be the case, as this concept design tries to prove, promising both comfort as well as proficiency, regardless of which hand you hold it with.
Designer: Sameeraj Dronamraju
There has been an increasing awareness and demand for ergonomic mice, sadly due to the equally rising cases of computer-related injuries. But while there are plenty of ergonomic designs now available, most of them only cater to right-handed users. You’d be lucky if the manufacturer produced a left-handed design, but most don’t because of the costs involved in another product with only a few minor differences.
The proper solution would be to mix ergonomics and symmetry to create a mouse that is comfortable to hold for both kinds of people. Vertrous, a portmanteau of “vertical” and “ambidextrous,” takes its cue primarily from the plethora of ergonomic mice now in existence, most of which adopt a vertical design that attempts to reduce the strain placed on the wrist by offering a more natural grip. But rather than have your hand holding it sideways, you almost grip it like a claw, with your index and middle fingers still resting on top.
At the same time, the mouse’s shape is more or less equally balanced on both sides. Great care is taken to ensure that textured areas are found on both sides, so no one hand has the advantage over the other. That said, there are some features that can really be found in only one place, like the power button, but that’s really a minor detail that has no significant impact on the use of the mouse itself.
While Vertrous does present an interesting solution, there are still some considerations left unanswered by the design. For example, gripping the mouse like a claw could actually end up being more uncomfortable and strenuous than a regular mouse. The symmetrical design also leaves out features like extra buttons that would normally be found only on one side, an absence that many power users will feel acutely. These aren’t flaws per se but more like points for further improvement, paving the road for the day that we finally land on a standard ergonomic mouse design that will really leave no one out, whichever hand they prefer to use.