Apple Plans Touch-Sensitive Mouse

Dennis Faas's picture

No one can deny that when it comes to design, Apple is the reigning champion. But although the company has mastered almost everything from MP3 players to GUI (graphical user interface) screens, it never produced a truly amazing mouse. But this may soon change -- Apple has filed a patent application for an innovative new touch-sensitive mouse. (Source:

In early December of 2006, iPhone interface designer Brian Huppi filed the patent application for the next-generation Apple mouse. The mouse is capable of switching between operational modes depending on how the device is held by the user. (Source:

In the application, Huppi wrote that "the method generally comprises first sensing in which hand position the mouse is being held, each hand position indicating a corresponding mode of operation of the mouse. If the mouse is being held in a first hand position, the mouse performs according to a first mode of operation, whereas if the mouse is being held in a second hand position, the mouse performs according to a second mode of operation." (Source:

Huppi describes the first mode of operation as the cursor control mode. The second mode of operation is a pan and/or scroll control mode, which allows users to scroll and pan across the computer screen. Optical sensors will likely be used in the design.

Currently, Apple uses their Mighty Mouse. Like the Mighty Mouse, Huppi's invention will include one or more concealed buttons to initiate clicking actions. (Source:

Undoubtedly, the biggest difference in the new mouse design is the absence of a scroll bar, which the touch-sensitive housing replaces. (Source:

People's reactions to the news have not been totally positive. While one person noted that Apple's track record with designing mice hasn't been impressive, another commented on the visibly uncomfortable position of the hand in Apple's patent drawings. (Source:

The patent, which was revealed last Thursday, is still under review. (Source:

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