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As Apple preps multi-touch mouse, Microsoft shows off its own

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
With rumors swirling that Apple will launch an updated Mighty Mouse with multi-touch capabilities, Microsoft has shown off its own unique hardware with a number of prototypes.

Calling the concepts "Mouse 2.0," new pictures and video from Microsoft Research show a five multi-touch mouse prototypes that would allow users to control and manipulate objects on the screen by using their fingers. The images from Microsoft Research were obtained by Engadget.

In one example, a user playing a first-person shooter rolls their hand left and right, and the view of the on-screen image leans accordingly. The "Orb Mouse" used in the demonstration includes an internal camera and a source of diffused infrared illumination, which allows it to track a hand across its surface.

Another hardware prototype uses a camera to track the position of fingers on a table. In a manner similar to multi-touch on the iPhone, the user pinches or spreads their fingers to zoom in and out on a map. However, the "Side Mouse" includes no buttons -- it tracks all of the finger gestures on the table in front of it.

One concept dubbed the "Arty Mouse" uses three optical mouse sensors to track movements of the wrist, thumb and index finger independently. The use of two fingers and the wrist allows for manipulation of 3D objects on screen.

Microsoft's concept mice: FTIR, Orb and Arty. Photos courtesy Engadget.

The "FTIR Mouse" stands for Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. It has an internal camera that tracks fingers as they touch the front of the device, which is a translucent surface.

Finally, the "Cap Mouse" uses electrodes to track the position of fingertips along its surface. In the video, it shows, rotating and zooming by running fingers across the surface of the hardware.

Microsoft's concept mice: Side and Cap. Photos courtesy Engadget.

The news comes as AppleInsider reported last week that Apple is planning a makeover of its Mighty Mouse. The new hardware is expected to feature multi-touch capabilities, but will go beyond just the hardware.

The new Mighty Mouse is said to rely on sophisticated software that will deliver an intuitive new feel in scroll navigation. Sources have said that the upgrade will do away with its predecessor's mechanical roller ball, and the functionality will be replaced on the mouse's touch-sensitive housing.

But while the Microsoft designs are merely prototypes, the new, yet-to-be-unveiled Mighty Mouse could debut as early as this year.
post #2 of 103
Figured I'd stop in for some Apple news but ok...
post #3 of 103
how is this apple news?

it sounds like those msshit 'tards have a lot of ugly prototypes ready to be put into production whenever apple releases something that's worth buying
post #4 of 103
Unbelievable...I think the original Douglas Engelbert's mouse was even more stylish.. what a piece of ugly junk.

Also remember several articles from the recent past where it says that the multitouch tech from MS is only accurate 90% of the time. So for every 10 times, 1 out of them is gonna fail.

So that's how I sent porn to my grandma for sure. "Sorry, it was my mouse."
post #5 of 103
Come on Apple -Bring it! You've never been able to beat Microsoft at the mouse game- now is your chance. From you beige one-clicker, to your hockey puck, to your MealyMouse- now is your chance to finally score. We shall see.
post #6 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Calling the concepts "Mouse 2.0," new pictures and video from Microsoft Research show a five multi-touch mouse prototypes that would allow users to control and manipulate objects on the screen by using their fingers.

Using a camera and some sort of scanning system to track hand movements isn't multi-touch...

And while the ideas shown are decent, they'll never see the light of day. Not only are they butt ugly (understandable for prototypes, but still), but the concepts don't seem to have any real advances that will solve problems as far as input interaction with a computer goes. That dome unit may sell to gamers for use in FPSs, but that's about it.

Will give MS some credit for actually trying though, instead of simply waiting to rip-off what Apple does...
post #7 of 103
What are these things? Looking at them, I one can't really tell how they're supposed to work - or even what they're for.

I got $10 saying they'll never see the light of day. C'mon MS, the only thing you ever got right in the hardware world was mouse design, and now you're looking to bugger that up as well?
post #8 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLLucionist View Post

Unbelievable...I think the original Douglas Engelbert's mouse was even more stylish.. what a piece of ugly junk.

Ahem-the mouse is not supposed to be stylish. Form over function need not apply here- that's the reason Apple's always FAIL. Just look at the stylish MealyMouse and Hockeypuck as proof.
post #9 of 103
Microsoft has lost its marbles, surely. These are nothing but designs by kids out of design school trying to outdo each other with ever more ridiculous, outrageous pieces of nonsense.

Just what one would expect from an outlay of $9.6bn annually...

Trying to outdo Apple at design is nothing something MS can beat Apple at.
post #10 of 103
MS does alot of research, but they have to wait for Apple to design the product for them.
post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post

MS does alot of research, but they have to wait for Apple to design the product for them.

I thought Microsoft utilized the 2 button concept before Apple - am I missing something?
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

Microsoft has lost its marbles, surely. These are nothing but designs by kids out of design school trying to outdo each other with ever more ridiculous, outrageous pieces of nonsense.

Just what one would expect from an outlay of $9.6bn annually...

Trying to outdo Apple at design is nothing something MS can beat Apple at.

With concern to the mouse development, Apple have lag behind MS. That is n ot my opinion, but a fact, seen by how many people do not use their apple mouse, but purchase another mouse, e.g., logitech or MS.

But I will say if a mouse is only development that Apple lags behind in, then I am very happy.

Btw: all those designs were very ugly, but interesting concepts.
post #13 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I thought Microsoft came up with the 2 button concept- am I missing something?

You are not missing anything, just that some Apple lovers are blind, I love Apple, but not going to throw wild opinions, when I know MS have provided better Mouse technology in last 10 years, then Apple.

But again this is way I enjoy competition, it makes Apple raise its game!

P.S. Still no coverage of vonage app, what's up with that?!?!?!
post #14 of 103
...looking at these ugly things in the picture I got the feeling that Zune was just a prototype, too. Right?
post #15 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

You are not missing anything, just that some Apple lovers are blind, I love Apple, but not going to throw wild opinions, when I know MS have provided better Mouse technology in last 10 years, then Apple.

But again this is way I enjoy competition, it makes Apple raise its game!

P.S. Still no coverage of vonage app, what's up with that?!?!?!

Hi- me too love Apple products but the mouse thing-no. I think the mouse is dead ,myself- would prefer just a small pad laptops have, especially to rotate objects with .

Vonage- I know? I checked last night- nothing and nothing yet.
post #16 of 103
The only thing that amazes me here, is the reliability of MS's vaporware game. They master the strategy of "as soon as somebody seems to have something ready that might eventually be good, say "we too" immediately" since more than 20 years... Apple tablet rumors getting about real? Here is our 3D animation of a tablet device. Apple multi-touch mouse about ready? Here are our prototypes. Hilarious. But compared to these "prototypes", the MS lady playing a five-key piano on a vertical screen (wtf?) during AllThingsD did not even look that desperate.
post #17 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post


P.S. Still no coverage of vonage app, what's up with that?!?!?!

Do you mean this AI article? Or do you mean a review?
post #18 of 103
MS nasty-ware.

What a surprise.
post #19 of 103
It's amusing that, once again, defensive MS feels the need to show vapourware as some kind of attempted counter to anyone else having a good idea.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Do you mean this AI article? Or do you mean a review?

That's weird- it's not on AI's main page and was major news. Yet we're bombarded with all these other minor news articles.
post #21 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Ahem-the mouse is not supposed to be stylish.

It is. AND it has to be functional.

Apple has beautiful hardware. Why treat the mouse any differently? Besides, touch technology on a mouse makes things on the function side a whole lot easier to manage. Apple has mastered touch tech, anyway.
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

The only thing that amazes me here, is the reliability of MS's vaporware game. They master the strategy of "as soon as somebody seems to have something ready that might eventually be good, say "we too" immediately" since more than 20 years... Apple tablet rumors getting about real? Here is our 3D animation of a tablet device. Apple multi-touch mouse about ready? Here are our prototypes. Hilarious. But compared to these "prototypes", the MS lady playing a five-key piano on a vertical screen (wtf?) during AllThingsD did not even look that desperate.

Exactly!

There was a time when companies copied what Apple did. Now they copy what they think Apple will do.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
Reply
post #23 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It is. AND it has to be functional.

Apple has beautiful hardware. Why treat the mouse any differently? Besides, touch technology on a mouse makes things on the function side a whole lot easier to manage. Apple has mastered touch tech, anyway.

Wrong - it has to be fuctional first and formost THEN add the stylishness.
Apple's mice have never been well liked, reviewed, or remembered yet they're VERY stylish.
post #24 of 103
These are prototypes... I doubt that if any would come to production that they would look like this.

But then again, with a mouse, I'll ALWAYS take function over form. That's why my first purchase with any Apple computer I had was a new mouse, and always one that had TWO buttons. So sad that even STILL, their laptops only have one button. Two finger press thing always irked me when I had an MBP (and it never worked right in Windows).

But like many others say, and I will contune to do:

This is NOT APPLE news!!! I really don't care what MS has in store. I want to know about Apple's products. Grr.
(I'd be very sad if AI plugs MS stories because they know the vast hatred of MS among Apple fans, and with such will get more hits on their pages.)
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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post #25 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

It's amusing that, once again, defensive MS feels the need to show vapourware as some kind of attempted counter to anyone else having a good idea.

I've been starting to wonder if this is going to become their standard press move: the press whips itself into a fury about a possible Apple product, so Microsoft points people toward a similar research idea they toyed with and discarded years ago.

I'm not sure what the up-side is for Microsoft though. Do they really want to draw attention to the fact that they spend ungodly amounts of money on very interesting research yet their business proper is consistently incapable of turning those ideas and prototypes into quality products?

That said, Microsoft's peripherals are very good. If their hardware team hasn't moved those prototypes toward the product stage, it's because they don't work and those designs will probably never be produced for very good reasons.
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


This is NOT APPLE news!!! I really don't care what MS has in store. I want to know about Apple's products. Grr.

MS is coming out with a Huge Touch screen coffee table that matches up to your flat screen TV. Just kidding!
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

MS is coming out with a Huge Touch screen coffee table that matches up to your flat screen TV. Just kidding!

MS Announces that Windows 7 will be able to utilize "Air Gestures" via your web cam. :P
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post #28 of 103
If you ask me... form over function never applies to good design. When you're talking about design... form always follows function. Always. Otherwise it's not design... it's art... or sculpture... or whatever. Apple doesn't seem to get that when it comes to mice.
post #29 of 103
...Balmer: "Wait, me too"
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I thought Microsoft came up with the 2 button concept- am I missing something?

Yes, you are missing something. Mice, including 2-button mice were around long before MS. The original mouse was 1 button. Xerox did three, then 2 (in the 70's). Apple stuck with 1. MS opted for 2.

Seriously, do some research. Believe it or not, there was a computing world before MS or Apple.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by moracity View Post

. Mice, including 2-button mice were around long before MS. The original mouse was 1 button. Xerox did three, then 2 (in the 70's). Apple stuck with 1. MS opted for 2.

Seriously, do some research. Believe it or not, there was a computing world before MS or Apple.

Oh- and exactly how does that explain why Apple followed Microsoft with a 2 button mouse?
And morse code preceded the invention of the mouse click.
Seriously, know how to add to a post.
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

These are prototypes... I doubt that if any would come to production that they would look like this.

as I just wrote in my post a few minutes earlier, look at the Zune!
post #33 of 103
It's too bad that AI did not link or reference the Gizmodo coverage of this http://gizmodo.com/5374224/the-futur...f-there-is-one because actually - the MS multitouch mouse is actually quite cool as you can see from the video.
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

the mouse is not supposed to be stylish

It's not supposed to be not stylish, either. Obviously, function is important, but there is absolutely no reason it can't be stylishly combined with form. Given mice of equal fitness for purpose, I'd prefer to have the more elegant mouse on my desk. Hopefully, Apple will keep working on advancing both aspects of the mouse (and the computer) until they perfect it.
post #35 of 103
This is how Microsoft makes their money. They have always operated this way. They try to upstage everyone else with vaporware. Since the Apple tablet rumors are very strong now, MS has shown off a prototype of their own concept. So what? I am not impressed by a potential. Give me the actual. I like that Apple never announces its plans or ideas in advance. They talk about something when it's finished.

--
Tod's blog: http://www.cleverlikeafox.com
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's not supposed to be not stylish, either. Obviously, function is important, but there is absolutely no reason it can't be stylishly combined with form. Given mice of equal fitness for purpose, I'd prefer to have the more elegant mouse on my desk. Hopefully, Apple will keep working on advancing both aspects of the mouse (and the computer) until they perfect it.

Coming from anonymouse we hold you words with high respect. However if you follow my posts I stated FUNCTION FIRST THEN ADD STYLE not the other way around.
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

If you ask me... form over function never applies to good design. When you're talking about design... form always follows function. Always. Otherwise it's not design... it's art... or sculpture... or whatever. Apple doesn't seem to get that when it comes to mice.

Exactamundo. Microsoft has been selling very good, very usable mice for a long time - as has logitech. Apple has not done so well with the usable part, although they are always pretty.
post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Wrong - it has to be fuctional first and formost THEN add the stylishness.
Apple's mice have never been well liked, reviewed, or remembered yet they're VERY stylish.

That's a matter of opinion. Some put style first. Some want a balance. For all the ergonomics concerns that regular keyboard bring, how many people do you know that use those split/angled keyboards? In this case, it may not be a style issue, but the point is that whatever works for someone is what they use.

And I love my Mighty Mouse. It works for me. Although the scroll ball mechanism is problematic, I do love the way it scrolls and would not go back to a regular wheel mouse. Apple has needed to address the malfunctions caused by dirt/grease/whatever getting into the scroll ball mechanism, and they have now done so. I will buy the new mouse as soon as it is available.
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdyates View Post

Exactamundo. Microsoft has been selling very good, very usable mice for a long time - as has logitech. Apple has not done so well with the usable part, although they are always pretty.

Now if MS can only get the Bluetooth part correct. I've used their BT mouse before. It was a total waste of money.
post #40 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hzc View Post

I will buy the new mouse as soon as it is available.

I bet you will.
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