Apple awarded patent for touch-sensitive mouse

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a mouse with embedded touch sensors, otherwise known as the Mighty Mouse or Apple Mouse.

Apple Mouse
Source: USPTO


Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,279,176 for a "Mouse with improved input mechanisms using touch sensors," covers both the Apple Mouse, formerly called the Mighty Mouse, and some technology incorporated into the company's current Magic Mouse offering.

A continuation of a 2005 patent for what would become the Apple Mouse, Tuesday's patent is also a cross-reference of seven other GUI input-related properties dating back to 2002 and 2003.

Cutaway View
Cutaway and overhead view of mouse. Note pivot point (106) and touch sensors (112A,112B).


Claimed in the IP is a mouse comprised of a monolithic unibody top member, which incorporates touch-sensing elements, that moves relative to a bottom member through a pivot mechanism. According to the invention, this layout is more elegant than a conventional mouse as there are no mechanical buttons or breaks in the top casing to detract from the object's aesthetics.

Also unlike "normal" input accessories, the patented cover portion acts like one large button with a pivot located toward the rear of the device so the upper member moves forward and downward when pressed. Going further, the upper member activates a switch that causes the device's microcontroller to send a "button event" signal to the computer.

Exploded View
Exploded view of Apple Mouse.


While "more elegant," the design provides only one functional button, whereas conventional products can have almost any number. To give back functionality lost with the unibody style changes, Apple's patent calls for a touch-sensitive upper member that can generate a "touch signal" or "touch event" in a number of predetermined zones prior to the "button event" signal. A control circuit is configured to report an "input event" after calculating where a user's fingers were located on the device when the mouse is clicked. Depending on how the device is configured, the design effectively offers a system able to function as a multi-button mouse. For example a "right click" can be logged if a user's middle finger generated a touch event on the right side of the mouse when the switch is activated.

The patent mentions the "jog ball" on top of the device as a separate means of interacting with the cursor as well as a control for scrolling.

Interestingly, a number of feedback options were provided that never made their way to the final product, including LED lights, on-board buzzers and haptic motion devices.

Also noted in the invention's description are the pressure-sensitive side "wings" seen on the Apple Mouse, which initiated certain GUI elements like Dashboard access when squeezed.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Another well deserved patent for a brilliant product.
    Copy cats better stop all the copying machines now.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post



    Another well deserved patent for a brilliant product.

    Copy cats better stop all the copying machines now.


     


    The Magic Mouse is so unergonomic that even Samsung hasn't copied it. :P

  • Reply 3 of 14
    fuwafuwafuwafuwa Posts: 163member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


     


    The Magic Mouse is so unergonomic that even Samsung hasn't copied it. :P



    Mighty mouse is a failure, the ball is quickly become dirty, and the the worst is, the mouse body is glued. But Magic Mouse is brilliant! It's much better than noisy scrolling wheel.

  • Reply 4 of 14
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    The iPhone should copy the Magic Mouse - depress the glass screen to activate and get rid of the friggn button. Then the iPhone can go back to its original classic footprint while maintaining its current 16:9 aspect ratio. .
  • Reply 5 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    isheldon wrote: »
    The iPhone should copy the Magic Mouse - depress the glass screen to activate and get rid of the friggn button. Then the iPhone can go back to its original classic footprint while maintaining its current 16:9 aspect ratio. .

    It amazes me that you can write "depress the glass screen" and not realize that depressing the screen is a button.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    It amazes me that you can write "depress the glass screen" and not realize that depressing the screen is a button.

    No I do realize that.
    But Im not amazed how you will write and post anything to start a bitch fight and try to show you know something more than everybody else on here already obviously realizes. You're always trying to put your warped sense of superiority onto another persons posts. Bizarre.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    isheldon wrote: »
    No I do realize that.
    But Im not amazed how you will write and post anything to start a bitch fight and try to show you know something more than everybody else on here already obviously realizes. You're always trying to put your warped superiority onto another persons posts. Bizarre.

    I don't have to act superior when you go out of your way to be so inferior. if you were aware that it's a button then you shouldn't have said they need to remove the button. Every fucking post you make some stupid point and then say that isn't what you meant.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I don't have to act superior when you go out of your way to be so inferior. if you were aware that it's a button then you shouldn't have said they need to remove the button. Every fucking post you make some stupid point and then say that isn't what you meant.

    So now you're trying to distort even more so and say I meant by removing the existing button and shrinking the footprint is one and the same thing as making the screen the actual "button" in itself?
    Begone!!!!
  • Reply 9 of 14
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,352member
    So Microsoft now needs to pay Apple for the Arc mouse?
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Apple just can't make a decent Mouse. Never understood why.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    isheldon wrote: »
    Begone!!!!

    If everybody would listen to you you'd end up being Rémi. Perhaps that is your true name, sure looks like its your wish.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    philboogie wrote: »
    If everybody would listen to you you'd end up being Rémi. Perhaps that is your true name, sure looks like its your wish.

    No my real name is Pazuzu. :lol:
  • Reply 13 of 14
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    isheldon wrote: »
    philboogie wrote: »
    If everybody would listen to you you'd end up being Rémi. Perhaps that is your true name, sure looks like its your wish.

    No my real name is Pazuzu. :lol:

    No way! Cool! With serpentine penis and all?
  • Reply 14 of 14
    timmydaxtimmydax Posts: 284member
    philboogie wrote: »
    If everybody would listen to you you'd end up being Rémi. Perhaps that is your true name, sure looks like its your wish.

    tldr

    But can you use left and right mouse buttons independently? No; they make real bad gaming mice. Maybe it is my refusal to use non-apple mice that is at fault here. But maybe it is over-simplistic.
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