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Apple mice to add optical trackpads?

updated 04:10 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2008

Apple mice w/optical pads?

Future mice from Apple may incorporate optical scrollwheels, a new patent application suggests. Simply entitled Mouse having an optically-based scrolling feature, the application depicts a mouse similar to Apple's current Mighty Mouse, but with an oval trackpad in place of the current mechanical ball unit. According to Apple this is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but more intuitive, as it requires no force to scroll or click, and it becomes obvious that people can scroll both horizontally and vertically.

Apple's concept also involves an internal buzzer, which would provide audio feedback matched to the rate at which someone scrolls, compensating for the lack of normal mechanical sounds. To ensure people don't continually run their finger off the scrollwheel, subtle tactile barriers would be set up around the rim; alternately, Apple could print some form of visual boundary.

by MacNN Staff





  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This idea has been mentioned before on MacNN as well as other places. Can we all sue Apple for patent infringement???

    Though I'm not sure how having a pad, vice a ball, makes it more or less obvious you can scroll in both directions (in fact, I'd think a ball would be more obvious).

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The reason may be

    The same as why optical mice took over ball based ones. I have read of issues some people are having where the ball system gets damaged after a while. Also less moving parts means cheaper to manufacture. And lastly if you imagine a more rectangular design, that could be used by the index finger for gestures.

    Judging by the drawing, I would say that this new mouse is designed for the weird mutant monkeys who will enslave mankind in the future. Apple is prepared.

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have two...

    ...of the Apple Mighty Mouse with not so mighty mouse scroll balls. Both didn't last all that long. This design is a joke. I hope 'optical' in the future is where they are heading provided the mouse of the future with optical scrolling is of value and won't c*** out after a years use.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mine is fine

    My Might Mouse is fine since the first thing I do when I get one is stick it on the shelf and not use it.

  1. calverson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Some how, this sounds annoying.

    Like a double-story porta-loo.

    Sounds good, but in practice, you just get c*** all over your face.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Another sensor to get screwed up by outside interference or unintended touching. I guess they're fixing the most annoying problem with the mouse (the damn ball, which, as has been said, is just as bad as the mouse balls on the bottom of mice), they still have the funky "two buttons but only one button, make sure you lift that left finger in order to right-click" design.

  1. Zkatz007

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Try Logitech

    The MX Revolution mouse ROCKS. Seriously, it's truly amazing. Check it out.

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