Technology has come a long way as evidenced by our smartphones that are more powerful today than supercomputers were two decades ago. The true test of technological enhancement however comes from how much it can improve lives and where technology really shines in that regard is in helping people with disabilities live normal lives. Animouse is a free and open source Windows app that falls in the category of helpful technology. It lets you control your mouse cursor, complete with left and right-click actions by simply moving your face. The app works on Windows 7 and above and requires you have a webcam attached to your PC.
Install the app and run it. It doesn’t start tracking you instantly. Click the green ‘power’ button and wait for the camera view-finder to connect with your camera and find your face. Click ‘Start tracking’ when you’re ready and the mouse cursor will now move across your screen when you tilt your head. To turn on the mouse click action, click the ‘Mouse Click enable’ button. The mouse clicks work when you position the cursor over a button and do not move it. It waits a while before registering it as a ‘click’ action.
A mouse clicks bar also appears at the bottom allowing you to choose which mouse click action it should perform. Anything other than a single left click isn’t very intuitive but it gets the job done provided you have a little patience.
If you find the mouse cursor doesn’t move fast enough in response to your head movements, go to the Menu option and under Cursor settings, adjust the sensitivity of vertical and horizontal movements. It will take a little time getting it just right but it works well once you’ve got it set up.
The app seems to work with even lower quality webcams which is all the better. Having to shell out cash on a better webcam just so you can use a mouse isn’t a great solution so Animouse saves you the trouble of it. It’s a pretty great and free solution for anyone who can’t use a regular mouse.