Optimal Sensor Position for a Computer Mouse

Sunjun Kim, Byungjoo Lee, Thomas Van Gemert, Antti Oulasvirta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)


Computer mice have their displacement sensors in various locations (center, front, and rear). However, there has been little research into the effects of sensor position or on engineering approaches to exploit it. This paper first discusses the mechanisms via which sensor position affects mouse movement and reports the results from a study of a pointing task in which the sensor position was systematically varied. Placing the sensor in the center turned out to be the best compromise: improvements over front and rear were in the 11-14% range for throughput and 20 - 23% for path deviation. However, users varied in their personal optima. Accordingly, variable-sensor-position mice are then presented, with a demonstration that high accuracy can be achieved with two static optical sensors. A virtual sensor model is described that allows software-side repositioning of the sensor. Individual-specific calibration should yield an added 4% improvement in throughput over the default center position.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 21
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 2020 Apr 252020 Apr 30

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant no. 637991), and Korea Creative Content Agency (award no. R2019020010). We thank Marko Repo for his great assistance in carrying out the experiments, and Francesco Verdoja and Jens Lundell for their help in the robotic arm experiment. All data and code generated in the study are released at https://userinterfaces.aalto.fi/mouse_ sensor_position/. The page reports 3D models of the mouse apparatus, circuit schematics, firmware, all raw and processed data reported here, as well as the scripts for data analysis and the calibration and optimization procedures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ACM.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software


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