Oh my, it's been over a month since our last blog entry. Today, I thought I'd take you behind the scenes to look at one of our lab projects, known as Peanut Butter Pointer (or PBPointer for short).
This particular product has been in the pipeline for some time, do to our insistence on only releasing products when they are ready. We are still working out some kinks, but overall we're very happy with how this product is shaping up.
It all started when we noticed two toddlers fighting for control of an "edutainment" program known as Putt-Putt Travels Through Time. Of course sharing is not something quickly mastered by kids...
|1 computer + 2 children = disaster2
So, we started thinking about how we could facilitate the sharing of this program (and others). We knew that, by default, Microsoft Windows makes all pointing devices drive the single pointer on screen. Fighting over the same pointer (which we call the Pointer Polka), causes confusion and just doesn’t work well for adults, let alone children. We obviously needed a new solution.
Here is the criteria we came up with:
- Each child to have their own on-screen pointer.
- The pointers should take on the characteristics of whatever pointer scheme you have selected in your Windows Appearance settings.
- All pointers should be able to move simultaneously and interact with windows normally (e.g. pointer one becomes a hand over a hyperlink, while pointer two becomes a double arrow when over a window border).
- All mice should play well with each other (when one mouse is dragging something, the others are unable to click)
- The application should work in both Windows and Windows games.
So, where are we today? We’re close. In fact, we hope to have PBPointer available in January.