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Apple mulled mouse design with rotary dial

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In the course of AppleInsider's proprietary investigation into the iPod Hi-Fi and iPod Boombox trademarks, it came upon a patent filed overseas for a unique mouse design that sports a rotary dial.

The application was filed in September of 2002 and likely represents one of the company's initial design attempts at a multi-functional mouse. Apple, which refused to ship a multi-button mouse for over two decades, eventually did finalize a multi-functional, multi-button mouse that it introduced last year as Mighty Mouse.



The design of the mouse with rotary dial is credited to Brian Huppi of San Carlos, Calif. In providing a description of the device for the filing, Huppi said, "The rotary dial is configured to provide a control function (or functions) for performing an action (or actions) on a display screen. [...] The control function may be widely varied. For example, the control function may be used to control various applications associated with the computer system to which the mouse is connected."

The description goes on to read, "The rotary dial generally includes a circular face, which is engageable to a user during manipulation thereof. [...] As such, the rotary dial can be continuously rotated by a simple swirling motion of the finger, i.e., the disc can be rotated through 360 degrees of rotation without stopping.
post #2 of 18
This design would have been vastly preferred to their current craptacular Mighty Mouse. Hopefully, it will still see the light of day, and soon.
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post #3 of 18
um, this is REALLY old news. it's essentially a mouse with an ipod clickwheel.
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post #4 of 18
I don't think that would be as functional as the current Mighty Mouse Ball, nor do I think there is legitimacy in patenting a freaking control dial.

While I think the ball should have been a bit larger to make it easier to control smoothly, I love the Mighty Mouse ball because it doesn't require near as much force to scroll sideways as competing side scrollable mice. The Mighty Mouse Ball is a low force motion/position proportional control, the competition (short of maybe the $200-$500 SpaceBalls) is simply a stiff microswitch for each side.
post #5 of 18
The Mighty Mouse is fine. Except for being able to clean the rollers of the ball effectively. On my third mouse now after the ball has stopped registering.
post #6 of 18
What about a pro app mouse?
-Shawn
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-Shawn
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
The Mighty Mouse is fine. Except for being able to clean the rollers of the ball effectively. On my third mouse now after the ball has stopped registering.

Did you purchase two more mice or did Apple replace the mouse for you?

I stopped using mine for the same reason.

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Kasper
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by iShawn
What about a pro app mouse?

That would be the MacMouse Pro?
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post #9 of 18
My mighty mouse stopped registering the scroll ball movement many times, but unlike you I haven't given up

Just roll the ball in all directions, pressing hard, for a couple of minutes, and it should clean the rollers. Ideally, you should unplug the mouse to avoid clicking everywhere.

One thing is sure, the scroll-ball is much better than a wheel. Maybe the best solution would be a little trackpad for scrolling.
post #10 of 18
This patent popped up ages ago... I'd remember that scary alien hand anywhere!

At the time I thought an iPod wheel sounded perfect: no need to left and re-start your scroll motion. But the X-Y flexibility of the ball is better. (Although I decided the way 2 buttons worked made the Mighty Mouse wrong for me personally.)
post #11 of 18
When my scroll ball stops working, its always a build up of the usual gunk under the lip of the ball hole. Just scraping it away with the corner of some card does the trick.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Kasper
Did you purchase two more mice or did Apple replace the mouse for you?

I stopped using mine for the same reason.

Best,

Kasper

They've got a 1 year warranty on them. My dealer exchanged them.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Strawberry
When my scroll ball stops working, its always a build up of the usual gunk under the lip of the ball hole. Just scraping it away with the corner of some card does the trick.

That's one way. The Apple suggested way of cleaning them is to hold the mouse upside down and roll the ball about whilst pressing in on it. That works most of the time.

A can of air blasting in the gap also works.

But I've had two now where neither method has got it working again. I think the serrated rollers inside the unit get jammed and no longer turn on the ball, which eventually gets too smooth.

It's just a bad design. The parts are too small to be reliable for long. We all know how often we had to clean the old mice with large balls and metal rollers. Apple seem to have forgotten this.
post #14 of 18
From your problems with the mighty mouse back to the topic...
I have seen this report about 1 year or so ago. So will the wheel actually turn, or is it like a clickwheel sensitive to the touch?
post #15 of 18
That thing looks like an ergonomic nightmare. Your finger joint is not supposed to move side to side, only up and down like a regular mouse wheel. Im guessing Apple legal was smart enough to not release this mouse due to the thousands of lawsuits they'll recieve in a decade from angry people with cracked joints in their index finger.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by the_snitch
That thing looks like an ergonomic nightmare. Your finger joint is not supposed to move side to side, only up and down like a regular mouse wheel. Im guessing Apple legal was smart enough to not release this mouse due to the thousands of lawsuits they'll recieve in a decade from angry people with cracked joints in their index finger.

Huh? The MightyMouse ball moves side to side too. And since when was your finger not articulated at your knuckle?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by the_snitch
That thing looks like an ergonomic nightmare. Your finger joint is not supposed to move side to side, only up and down like a regular mouse wheel. Im guessing Apple legal was smart enough to not release this mouse due to the thousands of lawsuits they'll recieve in a decade from angry people with cracked joints in their index finger.

People have been making similar claims that hands weren't made for game controllers buttons, cell phone buttons, iPod wheels and so on, but I have yet to hear of credible cases of this being a problem. It is good to be concerned, and take precautions, but in the end, improper use as noted on the warning tags on input hardware is the fault of the user.
post #18 of 18
can you imagine using that click wheel holding the hand like that? RSI guaranteed! Glad it never was used :-)
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