Here is an idea for a zero EMF mouse (an idea i had yesterday).
To be made with Arduino or something similar.
1 laser distance sensor programmed to move the mouse cursor forward and back instead of measuring distance.
A second laser sensor calculates movement left and right, depending on the number of lines that are passed. (If that doesn't work, you could make a second distance sensor measure from the side, or from the front with a small mirror to get to the side (if that works)).
I wonder if it's possible ? This is beyond my skills, so it's for other guys.
Sketches i made can be seen here:
To click you use my clickers method, or program keys on your keyboard to mouse click.
There is software for this, i think it was this one, you can try it for free:
I like it, but I don't know how those laser distance sensors work.
I thought of using two Doppler-effect "laser rulers" to measure the mouse movement, but I didn't know how to make the buttons work, or how expensive the parts would be.
The lasers would need to be very close to the table the mouse sits on, so that the user can pick up the mouse and move it back when they run out of space, as they would with a ball mouse or a normal optical mouse.
One way to handle up to two buttons would be to have two separate reflective surfaces at the base of the mouse, on on the front, and another on the side, and connect the left button to something that blocks the left side reflector, and the right button to something that blocks the top reflector.
One downside is that we wouldn't be able to cross-market it to MRI labs to spread out the cost of making it.
The problem with video tracking is it requires quite a lot of processing power, but otherwise I think it could be made to work. You could even have mouse buttons work, by revealing some mechanical simple color markers on the bottom of the mouse, which the camera can then also detect.
In order to move the camera further away, you could use a mirror underneath the table, to reflect the bottom of the table horizontally, and put a camera several meters away with a zoom lens.
Laser range finding seems like a pretty cool idea though too. I think it could be quite accurate and fast, if you can just figure out how to make it work. Image recognition might have some extra latency, due to the required processing, but for sure it would be EMF-free.
Someone could try convince one of these programmers,
or pay them with collected money,
to make a mouse and make a video tutorial with every step how
to build one and how to add the code.
I'm not going to lead this since i already have a solution,
i'm good. Like i said before, maybe universities or schools would be
interested to start such a project for their students.
The only doubt i have is if such a mouse would be usable for gaming (?)
which would be the only reason i would want one,
else i wouldn't spend my money on it,
and for gaming it would need to be really fast and accurate.