The Logitech MX ERGO is a trackball computer mouse designed with an adjustable tilt for a comfortable resting position. The resulting minimized movement, and control options built into the device, are intended to increase efficiency while reducing muscle fatigue.
Trackball: Trackball mice provide an alternative to traditional computer mice by providing control of the cursor through finger movement as opposed to using the full arm and wrist. While this style of mouse is usable by anyone who might prefer it, there is definite utility for people with limited arm mobility as well as those more prone to muscular strain who may find traditional mice inaccessible or overly taxing for extended use. In this way the MX ERGO, like all trackball mice, enables precision use of computers, be it for professional or recreational use, for many people who experience repeated wrist and arm movements as a barrier.
Adjustable Angle: As seen above, the MX ERGO allows the user to set the angle the device is tilted at from 0 to 20 degrees. In a similar manner to trackball mice in general, this allows a person to use the device in a position that is most natural and least strenuous for their wrist and forearm. While primarily presented on Logitech’s website from the perspective of ergonomics and efficiency, this feature does serve to make the product a desirable choice for anyone who’s ever experienced discomfort with the angle of a computer mouse.
Precision toggle and built-in Controls: the MX ERGO includes several integrated features that are accessible to a person with limited arm mobility and when utilized assist them in engaging with work on a computer. The compatibility with, and function to switch between, multiple devices (including different operating systems) makes the product a desirable choice for those who rely on more than one computer and could benefit from streamlining their setup. Including a function to shift the level of precision of the tracking ball is not only an attractive feature for anyone doing precision work, but also those who might find one setting ill-suited to their level of fine motor control. The customizable-click option for scroll wheel also assists users by allowing them to assign to a single action a function that they might find difficult to access. Along the same lines, by having undo/redo controls as dedicated buttons, any user capable of using the mouse can more efficiently resolve mistakes.
While not marketed as a product for people with a disability, the MX ERGO’s features can allow it to be considered a very usable product, even beyond the standard benefits of a trackball mouse. However, it’s price of $99.99 USD may make it unaffordable for many, particularly as simpler trackball mice can be found for less than half that. Additionally, the product appears to only be available in a right-handed format, putting up a hard barrier for anyone who primarily relies on their left hand. Despite this, when viewed through the social or economic models of disability, the device can effectively allow users with some types of impaired arm or wrist function to fully engage with extended computer use and work efficiently on tasks that require precision. As one of many computer products Logitech provides, it can be assumed that it has been fairly financially viable, and its very possible that other options they provide might be better suited for a specific individual’s ability status.