The more seasoned of our readers will likely remember the 90s era of ergonomic peripheral devices. Both mice and keyboards received a more innovative treatment back then, some more successful than others. These alternative devices have now largely disappeared from the mainstream, but they are still around in diminished numbers, and still want to improve your working environment. The vertically-oriented HE Mouse that we are reviewing today is an example of this segment.
It would make an interesting piece of research to find out why ergonomic input devices have become such a forgotten niche. One explanation could be the explosive growth of the computer market. Once relegated to stuffy IT departments, offices and the homes of those with more geeky inclinations, computers have since become smaller and easier to use and now exist in all walks of life. Human evolution has not yet caught up with the age of computers, and for many people sitting behind a computer for 8 hours the repetitive and unnatural movements of using a PC can be harmful to their body.
Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, can out itself in various forms. Muscle cramps in arms, shoulders and neck, a feeling of pins and needles or coldness and tingling in the extremities, many will recognise these symptoms. An increased awareness of this issue, and its effect on productivity and general health, has put more focus on body posture, taking enough breaks and the use of alternative input devices.
Despite of this, it appears that the big peripheral manufacturers are not (yet) very interested in the ergonomic product segment. Microsoft has a single ergonomic keyboard, and Logitech doesn't have any products specifically aimed at that segment. That leaves the smaller, specialised manufacturers to fill the gap. They primarily focus on the office environment, as companies are of course interested in minimising the health risks of their employees.
The company R-Go-Tools is such a company, and they sent us their HE Mouse. The idea is that the vertical orientation of this mouse will decrease the stress on hand and wrist, and minimise the RSI risks of traditional mice. Hardware.Info tested it to find out how well that turns out in practice.