Next-gen Apple Mighty Mouse may drop ball in favor of touch-sensitive scrolling

Apple Store“One of the Apple fellows behind the company’s multi-touch iPhone interface has shifted his attention to a next-generation mouse design that will forego the use of buttons or a scroll ball in favor of a touch-sensitive housing, a recent company filing has revealed,” Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider.

Marsal reports, “In a December 6, 2006 patent filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, iPhone interface designer Brian Huppi describes a next-generation Apple mouse design method that is capable of switching between operational modes based on the way a user holds or grips the device’s enclosures.”

“‘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,’ Huppi wrote. ‘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,'” Marsal reports.

Marsal reports, “The Apple interface designer said the first mode of operation may be a cursor control mode and the first operations on the display screen may be cursor movements on the display screen. The second mode, he continued, may be a pan and/or scroll control mode and the second operations on the display screen may be scrolling and/or panning movements on the display screen.”

Full article with patent illustrations here.

Related articles:
CNET review gives Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse ‘Good’ rating (6.6/10) – August 01, 2006
Apple debuts Wireless Mighty Mouse – July 25, 2006
Report: Apple to debut wireless Bluetooth Mighty Mouse soon – July 24, 2006
Apple’s Mighty Mouse Scroll Ball clogs too easily – July 18, 2006
ZDNet UK review gives Apple Mighty Mouse 6.6 out of 10 – August 31, 2005
Dr. Mac: ‘Mighty Mouse is the finest mouse Apple has ever produced’ – August 09, 2005
The Boston Globe: first shipments of Apple’s Mighty Mouse ‘sold out almost immediately’ – August 08, 2005
Mercury News: Apple’s Mighty Mouse looks ‘like the world’s most carefully crafted bar of soap’ – August 08, 2005
AnandTech: Apple’s Mighty Mouse ‘isn’t exactly perfect’ – August 05, 2005
NY Times’ Pogue: ‘I certainly prefer the Mighty Mouse’ to Apple’s standard one-button mouse – August 04, 2005
Apple’s Mighty Mouse dissected (with image) – August 04, 2005
The Motley Fool: ‘Mighty Mouse may be the next step in Apple’s quiet crusade to lure Windows users’ – August 04, 2005
Mossberg pans Apple Mighty Mouse, says Microsoft’s latest mouse is better – August 04, 2005
Review: Apple’s Mighty Mouse – Third-party USB mouse makers should be very afraid – August 03, 2005
Apple introduces multi-button ‘Mighty Mouse’ with ‘Scroll Ball’ for Mac and Windows – August 02, 2005


  1. or….new Macs will have totaly new interface with multi touch OS…..

    or your next iPod will have 10 core Xeon…

    or… blah blah blah…no one ever knows, but everyone always talks….

  2. Sounds great. Look forward to this. If anyone can do this its Apple.
    Watch Microsoft will in a couple years come up with something simaller and will call it inovative and say a first for the computer industry. Just like they always do with everything they copy from everyone else.

    One day Apple will get the praise it deserves nd microsoft will get the crap it deserves.

  3. That’s the most techno-erotic paragraph I’ve ever read ….in my entire tiny lifetime. ..the sumptuously delicious phrasing….’forego the use of buttons’
    …’touch-sensitive housing’ and my special weakness for …’next generation mouse’. I confess I have a special fondness for patent illustrations.
    ..going to need some techno-time and maybe some space junk.

  4. “MS will copy multi-touch. They’ll claim it was their idea in a multi-billion dollar smear campaign.”
    Apple didnt invent Multi-touch, they are just the 1st to implement. Take a look at the research of Jeff Han. It pretty freaking cool.

  5. Well, looks like Leopard will be delayed another six months while Apple uses all of their resources and engineers trying to make a lousy mouse. Why the heck don’t they have Logitech or Kensington rebadge one of theirs with the Apple logo and be done with it? Sometimes they are a little too clever for their own good. Man, am I ever having a bad day!

  6. @ Oops…

    I couldn’t agree more! We all thought Logic development was going to be faster once they dropped the Windblows side of things. Dunno what the hell happened. Maybe the Emagic team are busy with stuff like the Mike + iPod thingie…?

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