The RBT Story - A personal recollection

This is a personal story, one that you may or may not have a feel for.

Personal stories are powerful, but often painful. I will share my story with you, in hope that you may not have to go through the same pain that I had to endure.

10 years ago, at the start of what is known as today’s Esports phenomenon, college and high school kids alike were swept off their feet by a game called League of Legends developed by Riot.

The gaming social movement spread so fast, that millions of youth became addicted before anyone in society could start addressing potential health hazards associated with it.

Physical injuries and mental demolitions debilitated our youth’s drive for success, and fatigued their interests for off-the-web social involvements.

Instant gratification through gamifications changed perceptions of our surroundings.  Labeling terminologies set limits to interpretations of what we could and could not see.

I’m not going to dissect the social phenomenon and its implications. That is far beyond the necessity of premise needed.

Today, we talk about the issues of a device we have all used and known, the computer mouse.

And in the need of finding a better solution in ergonomics and performance, I decided to change the paradigm from the ground up. I created the RBT mouse.

RBT stands for Right ‘Bove Touch. It is the world’s only true solution for us to use the computer while sitting down.  

The mouses you see everyday, its shape and base structure was created by Douglas Engelbart 58 years ago, when the intended usage was for workers at the time; who were for the most time standing, or walking around the work place.

The rising number of patient cases in carpal tunnel syndrome rose with accordance to the rise of IT industry.

With longer hours sitting in front of the computer, the angle and weight dynamics in relationship to how we interact with the mouse have also shifted.

What was working for us while standing, now, can no longer offer effective execution in clicking.

The force of each click, coming from the fingertips is now creating a nuisance of involuntary movements; with each click, it moves backward!

To counter balance this involuntary movement, we squeeze the muscles in the palm area between our thumb and little finger. And the palm of our own hand now acts as the wall for extended mouse support surface space.

Overtime, muscles memory will have its way in narrowing the carpal tunnel, eventually turning into CTS.  

As during the times of none clicking, the index and middle finger hover above the actuation buttons for fear of accidental clicks.  Over a long time period, this can create fatigue.

As most published editorial copies have put it, there are currently three mouse grip styles: the fingertip, the palm, and the claw.  Regardless of which gripping style you adapt, the finger digits are locked in a specific position at the impact of every click, from the finger tips.

Each click forces the cartilages of the digits from index and middle fingers to wear out in a fixed, non-adjustable manner, building itself into premature wear outs, and eventually graduating into arthritis.  

As for the palm support area, not only it’s blocking the sweat glands in your palm, causing sweat and discomfort, creating wet space for attracting bacteria and dirt.  Its curved backside, or "palmsupport" also creates a sabotage when the fingers are tired from clicking through the fingertips.

The smart mouse users have discovered through a swift lift of the elbow allows clicking using the padded area below the fingertip, and is therefore less painful and tiring for the hand.

However, once the elbow is lifted, so does your shoulder, which inevitably creates tension for the neck.

In our hunter and gatherer days, we raise our shoulders in response to the sudden discovery of a Siberian tiger. The shrug of shoulders, therefore have become a biological reflex to fear.

Physical postures can create the same emotional responses and vise versa.  For example, when you fake a hysterical laughter, and you do it well, suppose you do it really well, you might notice the people around you are starting to laugh, and you’ll feel less unhappy, too.

The point I’m making here is if you raise your shoulders as an involuntary movement, whether you notice it or not. You’re going to feel stressed out by the same gesture of fear.


Let’s talk about Right ‘Bove Touch...

The Rabbit doesn’t click from the fingertips but rather through the base area of the fingers and using areas of the knuckles.

Having a place to rest your fingers during non-clicks is tremendous. Gone are days where you’re left with no choice but to hover your fingers over the buttons for fear of misclicking.

Because the buttons of execution are in the center of the Rabbit, each click force is now vertical, and creates no drag-back motion, hence eliminating the need to re-aim after each click.

And because the rabbit doesn’t move around involuntarily, there’s now no need for palm support, and getting rid of the need for squeezing the muscles in the palm, between thumb and pinky fingers. 

Ending the muscle memory training for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the beginning of returning to health. 

If you haven’t noticed, the base shape of the rabbit actually encourages you to lower your elbow as opposed to having to lift it in the traditional mouse scenario.  

Lowered Elbow leads to relaxed shoulders, which, leads to relaxed neck, so good bye, Siberian tiger.  

The Right ‘Bove Touch design is the only product in the world that is ideal for working on the computer while sitting down.


But, why did I create the damn thing?

I created the RBT as a response to my own injury. In my college days, I was an addicted gamer. By addiction, I mean 7-16 hours on the PC all day, everyday, with or without Air Conditioning.

By the time I was done with college, I’ve graduated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A very bad one too.

Having refused surgery because of fear, there, I said it... and my inclinations to finding a natural cure.  I quit gaming cold turkey for 5 straight years.  

In the mean time, I looked for solutions that could somehow reverse my symptoms. The word “QuadraClicks” came about when I saw how clicking downward was creating the problem in my right hand, so instinctively I thought clicking upward must solve the problem. Two up , Two down, Quadra... get it?

But this wasn’t going very well for me, and didn’t for a very long time, and for good reasons.  Nobody liked the idea of making a click by extending and lifting the fingers; except a very few.

The super kind hearted people that kept me going, thanks mates.

The magic moment came the day I accidentally printed two 3D models in the wrong size. I got the spacing wrong, so regardless of how much bigger the model now looks, I couldn’t insert my fingers in-between those ears.  There I was, staring at the ugly, dumbfounded by how stupid and careless I was having wasted $60 dollars.  

Days went by, until one day I lay my hand on top of 3D print, and finally saw the impossibility. Then showed it around to friends and acquaintances, and their reactions showed “maybe” approvals.  

I took the model to Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with me, and you know the rest of it.

What I wanted to leave with you is this:  Don’t give up too eagerly on a good cause, especially if the solution can help humanity. The miseries we dig ourselves into, sometimes can be a legendary game hidden in disguise waiting to be played out.