Pointing and hand gestures: they’re powerful means of interracting, and make sense for music. The only problem is having to be tied to a desk in a performance, as with a mouse. Nintendo’s upcoming controller shows promise for what interractions could be like in the not-too-distant future (if other tech companies follow their lead). But what about now?

Possible Mac and PC-compatible mouse products:

Gyration GyroMouse; now discontinued though you might get an overstock. A friend of mine on faculty at SUNY Stonybrook uses this with Director on his Mac.

Monster Gecko Gaming Mouse: Just $40, and beloved by both PC Gamer and Macworld, among others. (Hint: poor choice for airplane security.)

Gyration Ultra GT $80, but more features. Crippled on the Mac (no right mouse button support, though USB Overdrive might work), but lots of options on Windows.

Once you’ve got these hooked up, a program like Max/MSP or Pd can make short work of converting them to useful information or MIDI. (We may some day be able to use the Revolution controller with our Mac or PC; there are already adapters for PS2, GameCube, and Xbox.)

Of course, the major limitation here is none of these appears to pull Z-axis information. Anyone out there tried gyro mice? Got any tips? Or are these likely to be useless for the time being? (Or should we go back to building things with our own gyro sensors? That’s more fun.)