SpaceNavigator in NyTeknik top list, gets competition

How is the 3D controller market looking these days?

Here in Sweden, just a week after 3DConnexion’s SpaceNavigator got a glowing review in the Swedish Geek bible, NyTeknik, it makes it to position number 5 in that publication’s list of the year’s top 12 products, out today.

That’s quite a feat — number 2 on list is the pistol-grip battery-operated torque meter used by Sweden’s first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, during the current Space Shuttle mission. SketchUp also makes it to the list, no doubt because the reviewer finally started playing with it using the SpaceNavigator. And given that my MacBook Pro is also on the list, I’m feeling rather special right now. (No, I’m not responsible for the list:-)

Also today, news of competition for the SpaceNavigator. Sandio has a press release out announcing the VisonTek XG6, which is primarily aimed at gamers. It sounds promising — apparently it works with Google Earth out of the box as well:

With the new VisionTek XG6 mouse, PC users are now able to move along and rotate about x, y, and z-axis, action that requires users to work with multiple keys on the keyboard or an on-screen navigation bar when using a traditional mouse. The VisionTek XG6 mouse allows PC users to move freely on Google Earth, Google SketchUp, and all PC games. VisionTek XG6 also employs high precision laser sensors and offers users greater flexibility through multiple dpi: 400, 800, 1600 and 2000.

xg6_full.jpgThe product website shows you what the packaging will look like, and there is a graphic that shows (sort of) how to the mouse is supposed to let you navigate with six degrees of freedom. It doesn’t seem to be on sale yet, and there is no word on price.

I am of course perfectly willing to review a VisionTek XG6 should it show up on my doorstep, but until then, they’ll have to pry my SpaceNavigator out of my cold dead hand.