Computer mouse is 40 years young
The first prototypes of the now familiar computer mouse were created in 1963 at Stanford Research Institute by Douglas Englebart but it wasn’t until December 9, 1968 that the device was displayed publicly.
The rest is history: mouse buttons have been added and removed, the mouse-computer interface has been changed and tracking methods have been tinkered with. Although the demise of the mouse has been forecast by many, as long as computers require manual input on our part, mice (mouses?) will probably be around a while longer.
Selected mouse history highlights
1963: Bill English constructs first mouse prototype based on Douglas Englebart’s design sketches. This first mouse has one button.
1968: Douglas Englebart gives a 90-minute demonstration of his mouse on December 9 at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco.
1972: Jack Hawley and Bill English design a digital mouse for Xerox PARC. This new mouse sends digital positional information straight to the computer. This mouse also contains the first mouse ball to track movement.
1981: Richard Lyon invents the first optical mouse.
1982: Logitech sells one of the first commercially available mice for $299.
1984: Logitech designs the world’s first cordless mouse which is battery-powered and uses infrared light which requires line-of-sight with a computer.
1991: Logitech releases the world’s first wireless mouse to use radio frequency transmission – line-of-sight is not necessary.
1995: Mouse Systems the first commercial mouse with a scroll wheel.
1999: Agilent develops the first optical mouse without need for a special pad, providing a breakthrough for the optical tracking revolution. Microsoft releases its first optical mice.
2008: Logitech ships its one-billionth mouse since 1982 when it began selling them.
Do you need new batteries for your mouse?