Apple to mouse: ‘We brought you into this world, and we can take you out’

“You’re probably using a mouse today, but you may never buy one again. All the planets are aligning against this humble pointing device,” Mike Elgan writes for Datamation.

“The computer mouse has long been associated with the PC, but in fact it was invented during the Kennedy administration (in 1963) by Silicon Valley engineers Douglas Engelbart and Bill English,” Elgan writes.

“The mouse was nothing but a lab rat until the Xerox Star shipped in 1981. Though it was the first time anyone could buy a mouse, few did. The Star was overpriced ($16,000) and poorly marketed. The IBM PC came out that year, too — without a mouse. But when the Apple Macintosh hit in January of 1984, the mouse went mainstream and has been with us ever since,” Elgan writes.

Elgan continues, “Now, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice says the mouse’s dominance as the leading pointing devices may be over within 2 to 4 years. And I tend to agree. Several recent developments are slowly changing — or threaten to change — our mouse habit.”

1. Apple’s giant trackpad with multi-touch
2. Gaming pointing devices
3. “Brain-reading” devices
4. Apple iPhone and the “iPhone Killers”

Elgan writes, “I’m confident that Apple will take advantage of its many patents for ‘multi-touch’ systems and ship an iPhone-like version of Mac OS within the next year or two… So take the time to savor every point and every click. It won’t last. The mouse is as good as dead.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a “mouse.” There is no evidence that people want to use these things. – John C. Dvorak, Feb 1984

[Thanks to Bill Cosby for inspiring the headline.]

79 Comments

  1. Eventually the mouse will disappear but no way in the next 2 to 4 years. Apple did away with the floppy how long ago and people still use floppy disks. Granted not as much but they aren’t dead yet.

  2. Rather than Apple dictatorially mandating what is “best”, why not let consumers make that decision? No doubt, the replacement for the mouse will be more expensive and have limited functionality.

    Give the consumer choices, Apple!
    Give the consumer options, Apple!

    Apple, think of how poorly “brain reading devices” will function for the likes of Ampar, MCCFR, and Jubei.

    “Neural network not detected”

    “Associated hardware not located.”

    “Brain not active, please reinitiate.”

    “Application cannot open.”

    “Cranial connection needs major repair.”

    “Invalid volume detected.”

    “Block volume zero.”

    “Incorrect block count.”

    “Address error.”

    “Illegal instruction.”

    “Unimplemented core routine.”

    “Miscellaneous hardware exception error.”

    “Driver cannot respond to Read call.”

    “illegal instruction.”

  3. Well think of Replacing your mouse and mouse pad with a 6×8 sized OLED pad that has Multitouch and pen capability. It could essentially be used for any kind of input. Would have custom user defined buttons if you want. Great for CAD, photo work, or even gaming. Whatever you want it to be it could be. I would change over to something like that in a heartbeat.

  4. @ Jay-Z… Exactly on point.

    The mouse is so popular because it requires so little effort to move around and interact with the screen. And people with disabilities will still favor a trackball.

    I can’t see HP’s new touch computer doing very well either. Anyone who has used an iPhone knows all that flicking and scrolling gets tiresome after awhile. Do that on a bigger screen and you have a recipe for a real workout (not that there’s anything wrong with that… but some people use their computers for relaxation).

    Trackpads will have to likely emulate a mouse better if they’re going to supplant it.

  5. I’m all about touch, my hands have suffered enough under the repetitious clicks of the mouse. Touch is organic and natural and the future of UI and only apple can do it right.
    Bring it!

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