This input device looks more like a big button than like a traditional mouse. In addition to pushing it down, you can also twist it, pull up on, and even tilt it. These extra axes of control take some getting used to, but they come in very handy when navigating 3D environments. And I should mention that this isn’t a mouse replacement; it’s meant to augment your traditional mouse.
Intended for talented professional 3D designers, today a hobbyist can, relatively cheaply, use such a device to fly around the (virtual) world or design.
The SpaceNavigator is relatively low-cost, the most inexpensive version for manipulating, working with, and navigating through 3D applications. The free app in this realm that first leaps to most people’s minds is Google Earth, but there are many other 3D applications that the SpaceNavigator can also works with.
In a nutshell, what the folks at 3Dconnexion have done with the SpaceNavigator is aggregate all the most efficient ways of navigating in many different 3D applications and place them into one device that’s much more suitable for design work than a traditional mouse. So, as you go from supported app to supported app, the SpaceNavigator will recognize movements tailored for each one (even though you probably won’t) and thus make it easier to manipulate what you are working on. You also have the option of using two programmable buttons that you can set up from the “Panel” menu.
Installation and setup was quick and easy using the 3Dconnexion software wizard on the bundled CD. You’ll also find a nifty little extra program on the CD for viewing pictures with the SpaceNavigator. With this you can zoom in and move around a photo like you may never have before.
To sum up, for those who enjoy CAD applications or the like. It makes a great way to navigate a 3D space.
3Dconnexion patented six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) technology
Two Standard 3D Mouse Keys (Fit / Menu)
Dimensions (LxWxH): 78mm x 78mm x 53mm / 3.1” x 3.1” x 2.1”
Weight: 479g / 1.06lb
Two year warranty
Minimum System Requirements
Windows XP Professional SP2 (x86)
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Windows Vista (all editions)
Windows 7 (all editions)
MAC OS X 10.4.6 or greater
Linux Red Hat Enterprise WS 4, SuSE Linux 9.3
Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC), Sun Solaris 10 (x64), AIX 5.2 ML04, HP-UX 11