Some of you may recall an earlier technology review about the Virtual Magnifying Glass, which I find very useful when I am giving presentations and need to magnify something.

This is a niche-market bit of technology… but you are all likely to know someone who could really use this, faculty member, student, or maybe you!

What is it? Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer (or Wireless Optical Mouse 5000)… a mouse with thumb-buttons, one of which is a magnifying mouse window. (okay, it has other features too, like tilt scrolling, which is side-to-side scrolling, but I always forget about that one)

What is the cost? $40

What are the technical requirements? The software for the mouse must be installed on the computer that you want to use it with. Also, it’s only going to work on a PC. Anyone know if Mac makes a similar product?

How could we use this technology in the traditional or online classroom? In large lecture halls, it could be a useful bit of hardware to have with computer stations to do a quick magnify when looking at small text on the projector. One of our adjuncts monitors a computer lab and she had a student who was nearly blind, this kind of technology could be a lifesaver for those circumstances.

How could we use this technology in our professional lives? Maybe you have trouble reading the computer screen when you don’t have your glasses/contacts on in the morning?

Where do I hope the technology will go from here? Actually, I can’t think of anything else I’d want in a mouse. The only annoying thing about this mouse is that I always accidentally hit the “back” button before I hit the “magnify” button because I can’t remember which is which. Of course, I could just turn off the back button, or reassign it to some other function… but that would require some software tweaking.

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