Inventor of the Week Archive
for a different Invention or Inventor
Heavy computer users, a group that includes millions of people and growing, know that wrist and hand pain is a common problem that can be incredibly debilitating and may prevent them from being able to do their work.
In addition to ensuring they are using proper seating and typing positions and taking breaks regularly, affected workers often turn to devices designed to help alleviate discomfort. One of the most ingenious is the MouseMitt, designed in the early 1990s by Tana Lee Brinnand and her husband, Alfred C. Brinnand. The MouseMitt is considered one of the world's first-ever "computer gloves."
The Brinnands knew well what it was like to work for hours and hours in front of a computer screen. A computer graphic artist, Tana Brinnand developed wrist pain herself, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She designed a device for keyboarders to wear that was part glove, part cushion dubbed the MouseMitt.
After speaking with numerous physicians and physical therapists, she and her husband created their own prototypes using lightweight Lycra and a sewing machine, creating gloves with a cushioned pad across the heel of the palm that lends support to the wrist. They tested them out on themselves and among friends and colleagues and made modifications until they had the perfect design.
The Brinnands obtained a patent for the MouseMitt and set up MouseMitt International in 1991 in Scotts Valley, Calif., in order to market and sell the product. Brinnand found that there was a substantial market out there for her device when she set up a Web site to sell the MouseMitt and began sending press releases on the offerings to computer magazines.
Sales took off quickly, and the Brinnands added to their product offerings, with MouseMitt Keyboarders in particular, which extend further down the wrist than the original MouseMitt gloves do. Both designs leave most of the palm free and all fingers exposed for superior movement. They are available in several sizes and colors, and range in price from $9.95 to $19.95, for singles or pairs.