On the brink of mouse-less future
The history of the computer mouse goes way back to 1963. It was invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Center, pioneered by Xerox in the 1970s, popularised by Apple and Microsoft in the 1980s (that’s when the latter got the upper hand over its long-standing competitor by upping the number of mouse buttons to two).
The taste of the ' 80ies: the Apple and the Microsoft mouse
The mouse was hailed as one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer ergonomics, because it supplemented the keyboard so beautifully. It provided such significant advantages to the users of Windows OS that for a while in the 1990s Microsoft offered a bundled mouse and Windows package.
In its long history, the mouse went though many transformations: serial, PS2, USB, wireless, trackball, wheel, optical, infrared, laser... Through all these metamorphoses, the device basically remained the same little creature running around the surface of the desk, helping us tell our commuter what to do.
Now they’d have us dispense with the mouse altogether and communicate with our computer by touching the screen and, every now and then, dragging our finger along it.
No, it’s not some imagined conspiracy theory. In fact, Microsoft (e tu, Brute!) has come up with what many suspect is a transitional mouse – transitional to its own extinction, that is.
It is called Touch Mouse. The manufacturer says that with Touch Mouse you can do everything you are used to doing with a mouse (point, click, drag). Plus, you can give commands by moving your fingers across the surface of the device, which is populated with a multitude of sensors that track movement and essentially simulate a touch screen.
“Essentially simulate a touch screen”: yes, it is this innocent-looking phrase that may spell the death of the mouse. The so called transitional device’s insidious intent is to get you used to controlling your mouse by touching it, as opposed to sliding it and clicking it.
Once you get hooked to the touchy-feely stuff, you have practically accepted a mouse-less way of communicating with your computer by touching the screen! (Hello! Do they have any idea how difficult it is to keep that screen clean?!)