KidzMouse, a new company that makes niche-market computer peripherals for educational use, is showcasing its first product, the “kid-friendly computer mouse,” at this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Chicago.
The new mouse is available in three character designs: MollyMouse, BenjieBee, and CoolBug. The names Molly and Benjie are KidzMouse inventor, Susan Giles’ grandchildren, who is also CEO and founder of the company. Three years ago, Giles found that she was having difficulty teaching her four-year-old granddaughter to use a computer because the mouse was too big.
“Standard mice force children to tap — a very difficult motion for children with developing motor skills,” Giles told MacCentral. “Squeezing is a much more natural and comfortable gesture for children, which is why I pursued a prototype that incorporated squeezing. The KidzMouse is a ‘squeezable’ mouse that’s designed for small hands.”
Giles spent three years developing the product, which is now publicly available. All three have a suggested retail price of US$19.99. Other character designs are in the works.
The input devices are available in USB and PS/2 versions for Windows users. The small mice are also good for adults with small hands or those suffering from arthritic conditions, Bob Welch of KidzMouse told MacCentral.
The company said that because of their commitment to education, they have a Little Kidz Click program in which they’ll donate their products to inner city schools, computer learning centers, libraries and educational technology training centers for teachers throughout the United States. The program is designed to benefit learning facilities that have been hit hard by lack of funding and those in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.