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Rapid Evolution

Rapid Evolution

The word “mouse” used to have only one meaning. As many of us know, a “mouse” is a small rodent that runs around and scares females and large elephants. However in the past 40 years the term “mouse” identifies the very thing you are using right now with your right hand. Although (and this is a guess) 98.7% of people probably are aware of all the things I’ve said so far. The following is, most likely, information the majority has never heard of.

In fact the earliest “mice” were not even called “mice”. The first name for these experimental pointing devices was “bug” named by Douglas Engelbart in 1963. The first mouse, resembling a large wood puzzle block with a red button, was designed with two perpendicular wheels. The rotation of each wheel translated into motion on the X and Y axes.

The first ball mouse was invented by a man named Bill English in the 70’s. Rather than moving up and down, left and right, the ball mouse was limitless on the 2D scale in terms of direction. This predominant form was used widely with personal computers throughout the 80’s and 90’s. .

Optical mice were invented in the 1980’s in two different varieties. One used an infrared LED and a four-quadrant infrared sensor to detect grid lines printed on a special metallic surface. Whereas the second one, invented by the mercurial Richard Lyons, used a 16-pixel visible-light image sensor with integrated motion detection on the same chip and tracked the motion of light dots in a dark field of a printed paper. Slow reaction time and a large amount of problems involved with rotating the mouse led to special-purpose image processing chips in the mouse itself. This paved the way for widespread adoption of optical mice. The optical and ball mouse dominated the market until recent years.

In 2004 Logitech in conjunction with Agilent Technologies, introduced the laser mouse with its MX 1000 model. This mouse uses an infrared laser instead of an LED. This, according to other companies, can increase the resolution of images taken, which adds 20X more mouse movement sensitivity. However many gamers have complained about a slight lapse in response time if the mouse is picked up in the air and set down again. The problem was researched and quickly resolved.

In recent times the evolution of the mouse is constantly changing. One new evolution is that of the “touchpad mouse”. The touchpad mouse uses the motions of one finger on a pad to control the onscreen “mouse”. Capacitance between a finger and the pad on the horizontal and vertical axes is measured and converted into movement on the screen. The touchpad mouse doesn’t require a separately controlled device, nor does it require a mouse pad and is primarily used on laptops and other handheld devices such as Apple’s Ipod. The Pad is placed directly on the keyboard and doesn’t require a table; hence the widespread use of touch pads on laptops. There are many advantages to using a touchpad mouse; particularly the touchpad’s location fixed relative to the keyboard. Some computer users prefer them for such reasons and desktop keyboards with built-in touchpad mice are available from specialist manufacturers.

Now with production values peaking, the ergonomic mouse and other specialty mice are becoming a regularity. Ergonomic is a funny word but makes for a comfortable mouse. There are other specialty ergonomic mice made for blind and disabled people. The Microsoft mouse is a constant leader in the market nowadays and continues to innovate ergonomic and laser styles. Cirque is a leading company and manufacturer of touchpad mice.

In the future who knows what kind of control/interface device we’ll be using for computing systems. Maybe we’ll be able to start using our eyes to control things, or maybe the world will go VR and everything will be 100% interactive. I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, but wouldn’t it be cool to just live in your computer? Maybe for a few hours… if it was me I wouldn’t spend too much time in there.

About the Author:

Jesse Smith is a Client Account Specialist for 10x Marketing: looking for the convenience of a touch pad? is carrying what you need for more information click on these links >, Computer Mouse, Touchpad mouse,

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