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A patent application by Apple, released today, indicates that the company is continuing to explore new ways for users to command their Macs.

Patent Application number 20070080945 details a mouse having a button-less pan and scroll switch. Apple details that instead of using a traditional scroll wheel (or scroll ball in the case of the Mighty Mouse), the mouse would sense different hand positions and act in different ways according to how it is being held.

In one embodiment, the first mode of operation of the mouse may be a cursor control mode and the first operations on the display screen may be cursor movements on the display screen. Additionally, the second mode of operation of the mouse may be a pan and/or scroll control mode and the second operations on the display screen may be scrolling and/or panning movements on the display screen.

Patent applications can provide interesting insight into what concepts or technologies Apple is working on in their labs, however readers are reminded that only a subset of these applications will make it into final shipping products.
 

One Bad Duck

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2005
89
51
I read somewhere they are working on a more 3D interface? So presumably they need a whole new mouse to better interact with the whole computer.
 
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syklee26

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
458
631
i don't know why Apple keeps wasting time and resources on a mouse that doesn't need much invention. Mouse is fine as the way it is. Make mouse that has same conventional multi button that Logitech or MS makes.

Apple should be using those resources on perfecting Touchscreen iPods or potential touchscreen Displays.
 
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asketchbook

macrumors newbie
Apr 12, 2007
4
0
Great Idea

This should be a great product. The Mighty Mouse's biggest flaw is it's scroll wheel. It's great being able to scroll sideways and vertically, but the ball is so small that it often gets clogged and needs to be cleaned out.
 
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epochblue

macrumors 68000
Aug 12, 2005
1,671
0
Nashville, TN
I don't really mind the scroll ball, but I think this could definitely be interesting (especially after seeing the patent pics).
 
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dude-x

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2007
180
218
New York City
This mouse has to be super ergonomic for me to consider using something like this. I am prone to getting RSI (repetitve stress injury) so something like this has to be very natural, and fast to use.

Intersting patent application nevertheless. Might be useful for my Photoshop work.
 
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Unspeaked

macrumors 68020
Dec 29, 2003
2,448
1
West Coast
I dunno, all these button-less thingies are too meta for me.

I think they just make things more confusing...
 
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xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
I like the mighty mouse but this seems like it could be a good alternative. It would be good if you could choose where abouts on the mouse certain "buttons" could be placed. This would enable the user to define as many buttons as the suer wants (up to a limit). If only the mighty mouse had 2 more buttons (could've been added by allowing the squeeze pads to operate as single buttons)
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,590
4,951
Bay Area
the biggest problem with the mighty mouse is that it doesn't have distinct buttons, and that the left and right click sometimes get confused. Eliminating buttons entirely seems like it would make such problems even worse.
 
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longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,864
1,478
Falls Church, VA
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Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,005
666
In my imagination
the biggest problem with the mighty mouse is that it doesn't have distinct buttons, and that the left and right click sometimes get confused. Eliminating buttons entirely seems like it would make such problems even worse.

I think the problem with people hitting the wrong button on the MM stems from clumsiness. It isn't a problem with mice that have big buttons and nobs, but with the MM, there needs to be more finessing.
 
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Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,005
666
In my imagination
A successful button-less mouse would indeed be inventing a better mouse and could be revolutionary if done right.

Make it wireless and make the batteries recharge through a USB charger and the mouse can still work through the same USB cord while it is charging the dead batteries like the Radtech.us has and we can get along well.
 
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Mydel

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2006
745
457
Sometimes here mostly there
the biggest problem with the mighty mouse is that it doesn't have distinct buttons, and that the left and right click sometimes get confused. Eliminating buttons entirely seems like it would make such problems even worse.

Ireally like the MM and lack of buttons doesn't bother me at all. Scroll ball its another story. Although I consider myself clean person :D this stupid ball stop to work after like 3 months. I have already like third one and again scrolling action begun to be PITA. If you can eliminate that prroblem I'm all in
 
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zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
3,726
If there's one thing Apple sucks at, it's designing mice. They should just outsource it to Logitech to make an "Apple White" version of a couple of their mice.
 
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Make it wireless and make the batteries recharge through a USB charger and the mouse can still work through the same USB cord while it is charging the dead batteries like the Radtech.us has and we can get along well.

A truly revolutionary mouse would be charged via a mouse pad. There is a lot of research going on, but it's basically a simple application of maxwell's equations.

The concept is to have a mousepad which radiates a small electromagnetic field (which constantly surround you already, so don't think you will get hand cancer). the mouse would have a built in antenna which converts the field to current, thus either charging batts or runs the mouse entirely.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Shifting hand position is an extra unwelcome step that I doubt will ever ship (with the possible exception of just lifting all clicking-fingers without changing grip), but I'm glad to see Apple keeps coming up with krazy new ideas! Some great ones often float to the top.

(How about a mouse that clicks Cancel when you throw it at a wall?)
 
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gavd

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2006
602
2
A truly revolutionary mouse would be charged via a mouse pad. There is a lot of research going on, but it's basically a simple application of maxwell's equations.

The concept is to have a mousepad which radiates a small electromagnetic field (which constantly surround you already, so don't think you will get hand cancer). the mouse would have a built in antenna which converts the field to current, thus either charging batts or runs the mouse entirely.

This sounds interesting. Presumably some way off actually making it out into the public market though?
 
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siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
6,313
21
the OC
I think the problem with people hitting the wrong button on the MM stems from clumsiness. It isn't a problem with mice that have big buttons and nobs, but with the MM, there needs to be more finessing.

the problem isn't clumsiness. it's that people don't hold their mice the way apple thinks you should. i'd often have the mouse register right clicks when i simply wanted a click because i wouldn't hold it just right. i wish apple would go back to convential buttons with their mice.
 
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