SpaceNavigator News: Fly Inside Demo, Security Checkpoints

Rory Dooley, CEO of 3DConnexion which makes the wonderful SpaceNavigator, recently released a video demonstration using a SpaceNavigator to show how these devices work. Rory flies through a 3D model of one of their devices and shows how they get six simultaneous sensors to read the position of the 3D mouse. It involves sensing the light from LED bulbs inside the knob through slits in the interior. Very cool! Watch the video here (you may have to adjust your volume):

Security Checkpoints – those of us with SpaceNavigators who can’t leave home without it have discovered that these devices are not yet well known by the security personnel x-raying your carry-ons. Just last Friday I flew to Miami and the X-ray scanner guy stopped me to ask what the round thing was in my computer bag. I had to stop and think a second, and then told him: “Oh! It’s a 3D mouse”. His response: “take it out and show me”. I did so, making sure to show the mouse and USB plug, and he said: “Ok, thanks!”. I imagine since the SN has a heavy steel bottom it shows up black on the X-ray screen with a wire coming out the bottom. Last week Jordi Lopez of Wikiloc had the same thing happen, as did Stefan Geens just today – only Stefan’s security guys were totally impressed and interested in getting one!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I have to say, I love my SpaceNavigator. The only thing I can think of bad to say about it is that after a while you start wishing you could use it in more programs… once after using Google Earth for a while I caught myself almost trying to use it in Windows Explorer. 🙂

  2. Good to hear that 3DConnexion has started adding Mac support for their product. However, from the press blurb on their site I couldn’t figure out whether they’re already supporting Google Earth. Do you have any confirmations on that?

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