This Trackball Contains All Of Its Electronics Inside

Dhir Acharya - Feb 04, 2021


This Trackball Contains All Of Its Electronics Inside

Trackballs were no longer widely used because they were huge, much bigger than the computer mouse. But the new one does not need a base.

Along with the development of the computer, the early trackball was miniaturized and fitted inside the computer mouse. And now, on laptops and other desktop devices, it is replaced with touchscreens and trackpads. However, Jacek Fedoryński has given it a comeback by creating an all-in-one trackball.

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Some companies are still making computer mice with trackballs, including Logitech. From a set of wheels mounted in a base spinning as the ball was moved, the company upgraded to optical sensors that can track the subtlest motions of the ball. The movements are then translated to an on-screen cursor. Trackballs were no longer widely used because they were huge, much bigger than the computer mouse. With that in mind, Jacek Fedoryński came up with one that does not need a base.

The trackball’s sphere is 65 millimeters, consisting of two 3D-printed halves glued together and sanded to smoothe the surface. Inside the trackball, there is a rechargeable 500mAh battery, a Bluetooth chip, as well as an all-in-one 3D accelerometer/gyroscope to translate the ball’s rotations and physical movements to a cursor.

Giant Trackball Guts

You can use the ball in a support base and roll it around to control the cursor or you can pick it up or roll it across the table. However, there isn’t a distinguishing mark indicating which way is up with the ball, based on which you can know how to move the trackball around to make the cursor go where you want it to. To overcome this issue, a couple of magnet-controlled reed switches were incorporated inside the trackball, one of which turns on and off the ball while the other switch resets the up orientation for the ball.

Nevertheless, the trackball doesn’t feature a button you can click on, but this task has been passed to the keyboard. However, Jacek Fedoryński can try making future models from softer materials so users can just squeeze the trackball for the clicking functionality.

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