AI-powered modular mouse has some nifty tricks to level up your presentations

The nature and location of work today have changed considerably, especially after the introduction of work-from-home arrangements, but there is one thing that still remains the same. People still hold in-person meetings, which often involve making presentations, be it in front of colleagues or before clients. Despite how common this activity is, the tools used especially by presenters haven’t evolved that much except for teleconferencing equipment. Many of the devices needed for an effective presentation often come as separate products, so this concept tries to integrate not just two but four tools into a single design that, at first glance, looks like a normal mouse.

Designers: TianRun Chen, ZiLong Peng, Yanran Zhao, YueHao Liu

Many computer users use a mouse, even if they actually prefer using laptops. It’s almost an indispensable tool for on-the-go knowledge workers, including those who often find themselves speaking in front of other people in a room. Unfortunately, these people would also find themselves grabbing a presenter and a laser pointer during those presentations, making their work lives needlessly complex. There are some thin, portable mice that try to integrate a laser pointer, but these are still rare, not to mention not ergonomic in their designs.

The OctoAssist concept design has a rather intriguing solution that deconstructs the design of the computer mouse in order to provide more functionality. At its core, it sports a modular design where the main “module” is actually the front third of a conventional mouse, where the buttons would normally be located. This module is actually a touch-sensitive device that you can use on its own as a mini touchpad that supports gestures like pinching and three-finger taps. It can magnetically connect to a “base” that provides the ergonomic shape of a mouse, while potentially also offering additional battery power in its rather large body.

The core module also has a built-in laser pointer and, thanks to its touch-sensitive surface, can be used to easily control presentations with the same hand. It also has a voice recorder so you can have the entire presentation or meeting preserved for documentation purposes. But why stop there when you have today’s ubiquitous AI available to almost everyone? That AI, built into the device, can also summarize the meeting and generate notes in a flash, impressing everyone in the room with your technological wizardry and efficiency.

From a regular office mouse to a miniature touchpad to a presenter to an AI secretary, the OctoAssist offers plenty of features, though perhaps a bit too much as well. The AI-powered summary and notes are definitely convenient, but they could weigh the core module down not just with complexity but also with hardware and battery consumption. It does offload the AI processing to a connected smartphone, but that can sometimes cause lags and even data loss. Regardless, it’s definitely an interesting concept that might even be plausible, presuming a manufacturer sees profitable value in an all-in-one design instead of selling multiple devices that do those tasks separately.