Testing the Neon

The Neon was tested as a mouse and an air presenter. In the first role, it performed simple work and school-related tasks, like clicking on links and closing applications. No use trying to play games with the device, since it lacks the precision, size, sensitivity, ergonomics and special functions that game-grade mice can offer. It simply wasn’t made for this.

As an air presenter, it can be used at work (during presentations and keynotes) and at leisure time, since it can remotely control a PC’s media player. If the user likes to plug his or hers notebook to a TV, for instance, the Neon can operate a media player or applications like YouTube or Netflix right from the couch.

Handling the Neon is like using the Wiimote, the Wii console’s controller: you point the mouse in the air at a screen and the cursor moves (somewhat awkwardly). Since the device doesn’t feature a big sensor like the Wii, the operation is a little imprecise and frustrating, especially if the user doesn’t get the hang of it (our fault). Since we work with two monitors, sometimes the cursor would simply escape to the second monitor during a more abrupt gesture, and sometimes the return wasn’t as fast as we’d liked.

The air grip is done with the device right in the middle of the palm. While the middle finger presses down the left side button, thus engaging the presenter function, the thumb hits the two main buttons and the three control buttons below the scroll wheel. The 3D-scrolling button helps to scroll documents up and down with fewer hand gestures. The middle button engages the drawing tool that can be used to write on the screen or highlight segments on a presentation. We tried, rather awkwadly, to write a short “hello” on the monitor, and the result can be seen below. Judge for yourself.

NeonFigure 10: Message on the monitor

The last button hits the red laser pointer that is useful during keynotes. It also keeps pets distracted and active.

NeonFigure 11: Red laser pointer in action

A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.