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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Figured I'd stop in for some Apple news but ok...
  • Reply 2 of 102
    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
  • Reply 3 of 102
    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."
  • Reply 4 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    floccusfloccus Posts: 138member
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 102
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    MS does alot of research, but they have to wait for Apple to design the product for them.
  • Reply 10 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 102
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 102
    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?!?!?!
  • Reply 13 of 102
    ...looking at these ugly things in the picture I got the feeling that Zune was just a prototype, too. Right?
  • Reply 14 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,067member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 102
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 102
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    MS nasty-ware.



    What a surprise.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    neilmneilm Posts: 548member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    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.
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