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LightIO Announces General Availability of Starfish Pointer, a Pain Free Pointing Device to Replace Mouse

New pointing technology avoids all causes of pains and injuries from using mouse

Mountain View, CA, April 18, 2007 --( LightIO today announced the general availability of its new pointing device, Starfish Pointer, operated by infrared penlight and can avoid pains and injuries for mouse users. Computer related pains and injuries have been around for a long time and on the rise in recent years due to proliferation of the Internet and the ever lowering age of computer users. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a general umbrella term for these conditions. Dr. Pascarelli, One of the world’s leading authorities on repetitive strain injury, who has treated over 6,000 RSI patients and is famous for his books on RSI, estimates that RSIs now cost companies $20 billion a year. Some of the most serious injuries that Dr. Emil Pascarelli has seen have come from mouse use.

The three main factors that are generally considered causes of RSIs are (1) FORCE - the application of excessive manual forces including gripping the mouse by hand, pressing buttons by fingers; (2) FREQUENCY AND DURATION OF MOVEMENT - including rates of working which are too intense and repetitive whether of a single or combined nature. In the case of using a mouse, the movement comes with moving the hand and wrist when moving the cursor, and clicking buttons with fingers. (3) AWKWARD OR RIGID POSTURE - of hand, wrist, arm or shoulder. Because pointing devices, from mice to trackballs or tablets, generally take forces and movements from the hand, they usually need to be stationed in a fixed and stabled location, typically beside the keyboard. Thus it requires a stable and rigid posture to operate, and can be awkward for people whose size is not fit for the setup. Many alternative pointing devices or improvements on the mouse have been introduced into the market, but they usually only address part of all the factors. The most difficult challenges are the repetitive motion and posture issues that were barely touched before Starfish Pointer. According to Dr. Pascarelli, "We couldn't find a single mouse or trackball we felt was safe to use for extended periods of time."

LightIO’s Starfish Pointer, powered by its patented revolutionary technology, greatly reduces all these 3 factors for pointing purposes to the extent that they are no longer issues. To operate, a user points the infrared penlight at a small receiver box that contains sensors. Some of the sensors are distributed in a circular manner and look like a starfish, and was thus named. When a sensor is activated, the box sends signals to the host computer as to move the cursor or click a button as the sensor represents for. This novel approach attacks the RSI problem in all angles. First of all, the forces needed to operate the penlight is less than that needed for writing with a pen as no touching is needed. The forces on fingers are simply eliminated. Second, to move the cursor, the penlight needs to stay pointing at the hole for the direction and the hand is actually resting. To start and stop the action, the penlight moves on and off the hole, a movement of only a few millimeters and are performed in intervals. Starfish Pointer solves the third problem by enabling comfortable and changeable postures. Because it doesn’t take on any forces, the Starfish can be placed any where from hanging from beneath the keyboard to rest on a lap, as long as the light from the pen can reach its surface. Demonstration videos are available on LightIO’s website:

LightIO, a pioneer of optical human-machine interface technology, is a Silicon Valley startup company. “I’m very glad that Starfish Pointer passed limited available stage and entered the general market. Our first product, Mango Keyboard didn’t pass the limited available stage even though it passed QA,” said Yong Yan, founder and president of LightIO. “This is a difficult field that no other technology entered the market before is as effective as our infrared penlight in the past 30 years. I have a hope now that we might be able to solve this computer related RSI problem completely in the foreseeable future.”

Besides RSI, Starfish Pointer is also a blessing to those who have arthritis in their hands, those who have injuries or just handicapped and have difficulties using a mouse with their hand and fingers. Starfish Pointer can be purchased at LightIO’s authorized retailers as well as its online store at

LightIO, LightIO logo, Starfish Pointer, and Mango Keyboard are trademarks of LightIO and may be registered in certain jurisdictions.

Contact Information
Vincent Tang

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