A pointing stick is an isometric joystick used as a pointing device, as with a touchpad or trackball, typically mounted in a computer keyboard. Movements of the pointing stick are echoed on the screen by movements of the pointer (or cursor) and other visual changes.
The pointing stick senses applied force by using two pairs of resistive strain gauges. A pointing stick can be used by pushing with the fingers in the general direction the user wants the cursor to move. The velocity of the pointer depends on the applied force so increasing pressure causes faster movement. The relation between pressure and cursor or pointer speed can be adjusted, similar to the way the mouse speed is adjusted.
On a QWERTY keyboard, the stick is typically embedded between the G, H and B keys, and the mouse buttons are placed just below the space bar. The mouse buttons can be operated right-handed or left-handed due to their placement below the keyboard along the centerline. This pointing device has also appeared next to screens on compact-sized laptops such as the Toshiba Libretto and Sony VAIO UX.
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