More often than not I’m sitting right in front of my computer when I want to control it, so the normal keyboard and mouse are just fine for my needs. I’ll occasionally use LogMeIn to control my home computer from work over the Internet, but there again I’m using a standard mouse and keyboard.
My friend showed me a nifty app for the iPhone and iPod Touch the other day, though, that allows him to control his computer from the other end of the room: Touch Mouse (iTunes link).
Touch Mouse is built by well-known tech company Logitech who, now that I check, actually make most of the peripherals I use on my desktop machine. It works by connecting to a helper application on your computer via the WiFi network. That means that both your computer and iPhone or iPod Touch have to be on the same network, so no long-distance controls here! Once you’re connected, though, it’s like having a wireless laptop trackpad in the palm of your hand!
What would you use this for then? Other than showing people and saying, “Isn’t that cool?” the main reason I would use this is to control a multimedia presentation like PowerPoint or MediaShout. It’s especially nice that the application is a free download, so I don’t have to buy any extra equipment like a USB clicker… I just have to make sure that I’m in an area with a decent WiFi signal that both my computer and iPhone can connect to.
As well as working as a mouse, Touch Mouse features a remote keyboard. I’m never going to use this for typing significant amounts of text, as the iPhone’s virtual keyboard just isn’t up to that, but perhaps when the iPad comes out this function will become more useful. As it is I’ve used it to enter website addresses, but that’s pretty much it.
Touch Mouse is a great little application, connects to Windows and Mac OS X and, if you’re presenting, could very well turn out to be just what you’re looking for. Download it for free and give it a whirl.