Physical pointers


What are they?

Physical pointers are used by people who have limited use of their arms and hands. Some of them are designed to be used with digital devices, while others can serve other purposes (like painting on canvas).

Physical pointers can be, for example:

  • A head pointer (also called “head wand”): this is attached to the head with a helmet or headband, and can be used to operate a keyboard, touch screen, or switch device.
  • A mouth stick: this is held in the mouth by the teeth, and can be used the same way as a head pointer.
  • An adapted stylus: for example, one with a wide handle and straps to secure it to the hand, which can be used with a touch screen or instead of a mouse.

Eye and motion trackers are sometimes also called “pointers” or “head pointers”, even though they are not physical stick-like tools. This can lead to confusion, so always check what kind of device is being referred to.