The video below is a homemade commercial made by the inventor of the AlphaGrip, a handheld device designed to roll a keyboard and mouse all into one game-controller-like package so users can “instant message from bed.”
The inventor uses his daughter to demonstrate the product in the video. As Madeline lies on her bed and uses the AlphaGrip to click away on AIM, the inventor asks her questions so that we can understand what it’s like to be an AlphaGrip user. Apparently AlphaGrip users come straight home from school, get into bed, and start doing their homework and talking to friends on the computer, all while maintaining the body and hand positioning of playing a video game.
Hmmmm….I don’t know quite what to make of this. With childhood obesity rates rising with reports of “iPod Finger” and “Blackberry Thumb,” I have to wonder if introducing a non-ergonomically sound device that enables teenagers to do everything they want to do from their beds with a single controller is a dangerous sign.
I admit, keyboarding from a chair and staring at a screen is not healthy either, but the AlphaGrip does not seem like the solution. I think I would rather see people in the Nethrone than on their beds, craning their necks and thumbing away with an AlphaGrip.
As for me, I would love to have a remote control that lets me navigate my downloaded shows and movies from bed. But typing from bed and staring at a computer several feet away with enlarged font for hours on end….sounds like another ergonomic nightmare.
What do you think? Is the AlphaGrip a good idea or a bad idea? What other ways could we interact with our computers more easily and safely?
Engadget Review of the AlphaGrip