I attended a private briefing a few weeks ago to get a sneak peek at the NuLOOQ from Logitech and now it’s public information. It’s a unique new input device, but at first glance it doesn’t seem much different than the Griffin PowerMate or the ShuttleXpress from Contour Design. However, the similarities are only skin deep.
First, it’s helpful to understand the pedigree of this new device. The NuLOOQ is a basic, Mac-compatible version of high-end (read: $500) 3D motion controllers from 3Dconnexion, a Logitech subsidiary. The reason this history is important is because the entire device moves, sort of like a subtle joystick. This could be great for navigating a large Photoshop canvas with one hand and painting or retouching with the other.Because you can use the outer ring to navigate a document, the device is pretty heavy. Bottom-heavy to be exact. This keeps the device on your working surface without relying on adhesives or suction. It also means that if you want to move the device you just pick it up and move it.Another unique aspect of the NuLOOQ is the inner jog dial on the top of the device. Think of it as an iPod interface for your Mac. I expect more folks to start using this rotary-style, touch-sensitive input mechanism for more devices than just a music collection.Lastly, the software looks really good. You can customize the heads-up display to include menu commands and tool shortcuts that you use frequently. For example, a Photoshop retoucher can hide the toolbar and palettes and rely on their customized NuLOOQ toolbar instead. This makes full-screen retouching much easier.I’m still waiting for my demo unit from Logitech, but I’ll update when it arrives.