ECTmouse (EyeComTec Mouse) is an application which emulates cursor movement and mouse button clicks by using any keyboard. This program is part of the assistive technologies complex and works effectively with a personal computer for those with limited physical abilities.
ECTmouse (EyeComTec Mouse) is an application which emulates cursor movements and mouse button clicks and can be used on any computer keyboard. This program is in the field of assistive technologies, giving the possibility of working effectively with a personal computer to those with limited physical abilities.
ECTmouse easily enables any of the mouse actions listed below:
- Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal cursor movements;
- Clicks and double clicks;
- Pressing and releasing of individual buttons;
- Vertical scrolling.
Clicks and actions are emulated for right, left, or middle mouse buttons.
This program is designed to suit various groups of users with limited motor functions, and can be successfully applied in such cases:
- Insufficient hand or arm mobility;
- Impaired fine motor skills, when the user cannot aim the mouse, click on icons, or select any areas of the desktop due to their movements being too strong, quick, or intense;
- Tremors: when the user cannot click on icons due to making uncontrolled shifts of the cursor;
- Hand pains during work with a mouse, as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, various neurological diseases, different types of injuries, and prolonged computer work;
- Diseases causing temperature exchange problems. In such cases, the user’s fingertips are too cold, which cause additional difficulties during touchpad operation.
People without any limits in their motor functions can also use the ECTmouse. The most common circumstances and situations are listed below:
- Malfunctions of mouse or laptop touchpad;
- Continuing to work while the physical wireless mouse is charging;
- To add a middle mouse button and scrolling functions when working with a touchpad, which doesn’t support such functions, or in case of a two-buttoned mouse operation;
- In cases when it is necessary to obtain precise cursor positioning (up to one pixel) to complete various operations and tasks.
The ECTmouse is equipped with an easy and understandable interface and a full set of customization options. Each mouse action can be assigned to any desired key on the keyboard, allowing the user to configure the program for their personal needs and goals. The mouse emulation can be started or paused at any moment in time, using the main menu of the program or a hot key.
The user can easily change the mouse step (shift in pixels) of the cursor during program operation by using hotkeys on the keyboard, thus there is no need to stop the mouse emulation or open the settings panel.
The ECTmouse can also limit the cursor movement area by defining a rectangular area of any desired size. The angles and measurements of this rectangle can be set in the settings window of the program.
All the actions performed during the emulation process are saved into a log, which is shown in the main window of the program. The number of events in the log can be selected through the settings panel of the program.
The ECTmouse provides the user with a convenient configuration process. All settings are divided into groups, allowing the user to change all the parameters quickly and easily. Keyboard key codes, which correspond to various mouse actions, can be set manually or automatically by pressing desired keys. The program has several language settings, allowing the majority of users to work with ECTmouse in their native language.
The program is portable, so it does not require installation, and can be executed from any external media storage. It also supports the fast export and import of user profiles, allowing users to instantly switch between various ECTmouse profile settings.
The main interface of the program is shown in figure 1:
The main window of the ECTmouse contains the main menu button, a key counter showing the number of actions performed, and a log field with detailed information about the emulated actions. Every time that the emulator is enabled, the user will see a blinking "WORKING" indicator to the right from the counter, which shows that the program is in operation.
The log contains the date and time of an action, the key code of the physical button being pressed in decimal and hexadecimal encoding, and the corresponding action of the mouse button being emulated. The newest events appear on top of the list.
In order to ensure correct program operation, the user first has to assign each mouse action to their desired keys on their physical keyboard, as well as a comfortable cursor speed (shift step size). The user can also limit the desktop area for cursor movement (the cursor will not be allowed to leave this area)
Main advantages of ECTmouse
The ECTmouse application has many key advantages when compared with similar program products from other developers, namely:
- Flexible configuration. Any possible actions which can be performed by the mouse (cursor movement, click, double click, holding and releasing keys, scrolling) can be assigned with any key of the keyboard;
- Variable cursor movement speed (shift step in pixels) "on the fly", without any need to stop the emulation;
- The possibility of limiting cursor movement area and setting different modes of movements within it;
- The program supports unlimited user profiles, with quick import and export in just a couple of clicks. When several users work with one computer, each can have their personal settings profile, with convenient keyboard configuration;
- The “current mouse state window”, enables users to check if the emulation is enabled or disabled and check which mouse buttons are being pressed at the present moment;
- Portability: the program doesn't require any installation and can be executed from any external storage device;
- Localization support, allowing users to work with the program in their native language and learn faster;
- A convenient and simple operation log with several settings.
All these features make the ECTmouse a very functional and easy to use mouse emulator.