Have You Got Carpal Tunnel? My Journey to Recovery, and Creation of the RBT
If you are a serious PC gamer for some time, then you might have experienced some level of pain and/or numbness in your hands. Sometimes its been referred to as Carpal Tunnel.
My journey with Carpal Tunnel started in senior year of college, as for everyone, League was a big deal, then. So I spent a couple of thousand hours on it. Yes, I was literally consumed by the game. My grades suffered, social life vanished, but who cares? I was having so much fun owning newbies! Things were going well, and I wasn't planning on stopping anytime soon.
That was until the day my right hand started to hurt, I thought it must've been some funny muscle glitch and it'd stopped in no time. But instead, the pain escalated quickly with each game I played.
Weeks past, and I finally decided to pay a visit to see the doctor.
Yup, I had Carpal Tunnel... (applauds here), I was officially a veteran gamer!
So, now what are my options?
Option A: Stop Gaming
Option B: Surgery
Option C: Gears Up "Ergonomic" Style
I'm big on natural cures, so option B was a no-go.
My life literally didn't offer much outside of the PC games, and I was heavily in a love/hate relationship with them, so opting out was too much of a sacrifice.
I decided to go with option C.
I went and bought an expensive gaming mouse, wore a wristband, and kept ice bags nearby; they seemed to work for a little bit. Eventually, they stopped working, and the pain got much worse!
My family doctor suggested that I get carpal tunnel surgery, but I decided to give myself a second chance (not because I fear the operation, but the scar just seemed too horrid).
I decided then, it was time to try option A...
...and for the next 5 years I quit gaming, cold.
Life went on okay, I graduated college and went to the job world. Occasionally, I'd hear some buzz about tournaments and addictive new games like Overwatch.
About 3 years later, in 2013, I got a crazy idea on how to get back into gaming: I was going to invent a new kind of "mouse." It would have to solve all the pains associated with using a mouse, for it to be good. So for the next four years, I started working on a secret project known as "The QuadraClicks Mouse" -- the ultimate weapon that would fix my carpal tunnel problem, and letting me own at my favorite games, again!
The more I worked at it, the more I became devastated, because the original idea was to create something that "upclicks" (clicking by lifting a finger to even out the muscular motions as a means to rebuilding the muscles.) I had some press coverage, but it was very counter-intuitive, as I couldn't persuade any of my gamer buddies that it was a good idea.
One evening I found myself staring at my 3D printed model (picture below, next to the regular mouse), not sure why I wanted to lay my hand on top of the elevated parts instead of the usual underway approach, I couldn't help but notice how amazingly comfortable it felt.
Patents Pending - USA & World
By recreating the base structure, we are able to eliminate forced finger bending, fingertip clicking, palm suppression, and add in the missing pieces -- elevated finger support.
A massive contrast to a regular gaming mouse
About a year ago, after hearing so many comments like "hey it looks like a rabbit." I renamed the product "RBT - Right aBove Touch" and have field tested it with many astonished professionals and amateur gamers.
Some demo photos from conventions for the general public:
During GDC (Game Developers Conference) 2017 in San Francisco:
Doing demos during CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 in Las Vegas:
I've been using RBT (picture below) for more than a year now. The result? Find me on League, Diablo3, & Overwatch
A live demo & interview from the Hardware Hound for CES 2017:
With over two decades of misuse, it's time we stop punishing ourselves. The RBT is ready to rock the Gaming World, but are you?
Writers note: I am the creator of the RBT.