×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Files Patent For Display Mouse

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the mickey-caught-flashing dept.

Displays 156

astrodoom writes "AppleInsider has posted a story detailing a new patent application by Apple that hints at the possibility of adding a touchscreen to the company's magic mouse. At a basic level this could mean things like customizable colors or artwork displayed on the user's mouse, but the possibilities extend much further to fully customizable mouse layouts and program controls. Apple Insider comments on the possibilities: 'The display on the mouse would change according to what the user may be doing on their Mac. As an example, the application describes displaying a number of icons for quickly selectable options when a user is running Apple's Pages word processing application. Switching over to the spreadsheet software, Numbers would reconfigure the buttons on the screen to allow for commands in that respective application.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

156 comments

Aren't there already products like this? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962562)

It seems like somebody would have done this before, even if kind of crudely. I know there are keyboards that have LCD's...

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (3, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962582)

Maybe, but I haven't heard of one. Keyboards, yes, peripherals, yes, but mouse? I think the generally held wisdom is that your would fingers get in the way.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963050)

Keyboards, yes, peripherals, yes, but mouse?

A mouse IS a peripheral, you idiot.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962622)

I don't know of any implementation of a a mouse + touchscreen specifically; but keyboards with LCDs for dynamic reconfiguration are shipping products, wacom digitizer tablet screens are shipping products, mice with dynamic settings(sensitivity, scroll speed, etc.) indicated by LEDs on the mouse are shipping products, and the general notion that a touchscreen can present a reconfigurable set of buttons is basically the foundation of the contemporary smartphone industry.

Novel product? As best I can tell. Patent worthy? Srlsy?

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963330)

Maybe not as a product, but it has been thought of before [webaxes.com].

Too late for prior art though... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963798)

That says the idea was from a 2010 competition, but the way patents work the patent itself was probably submitted well before 2010, so I don't think that would help invalidate this one.

Re:Too late for prior art though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963814)

The idea used in the competition was probably thought of well before 2010 also.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963552)

Novel = Patent worthy

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962648)

No ones done this yet because it will be VERY expensive and wear out just as fast as any other mouse.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962978)

and wear out just as fast as any other mouse.

I'm still using my logitech mouse I bought over five years ago, a properly built mouse lasts for more than long enough.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963106)

Wingman Gaming Mouse is the best mouse ever made. Model M of mice

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963394)

I don't see why it would have to be very expensive. The display you'd put in a mouse wouldn't have to be anything like the kind of display you put on an iPhone. Unit cost could easily be under $10 in the kind of quantities that Apple buys. As for wearing out, I have yet to have any Apple mouse die on me, and the oldest one I've got is an ADB mouse from 1996 or so.

-jcr

Do mice really wear anymore? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963800)

My many year old Logitech works just fine, in fact I don't know of a single optical mouse dying amongst all my friends that use them.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962772)

yup I call prior art too!

It seems to me that getting a patent is expensive and pointless as some no name company from a country like say china is just going to rip off your patented idea regardless. Just bring it to market first and spend the money you would have spent on lawyers and market the tar out of it.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962796)

Expensive? It's possible to prosecute a simple patent application like this one for about $15k, although Apple is probably going to spend less than $100k for it -- certainly that's not expensive to a company like Apple.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962932)

It really reminds me of a Asus Eee Keyboard. [gadgetreview.com] It is a whole computer built into a keyboard with a 5 inch touch screen that can change what is displayed or be used as a mouse.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963210)

Yeah there are keyboards. But they cost more than an entire computer.

Apple could probably do it for a lot cheaper, but i still don't think this patent will see reality any time in the forseeable future. Nearly all apple patents never make it to a shipping product, and those that do... often don't ship until years after the patent.

But this one is a very interesting concept.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963252)

I remember back in the early 90s there was a big panel that hooked up to a computer (an Archimedes perhaps?) that was basically a big touch sensor split into a grid, with each square perhaps 15mm on a side. You could then set zones on this layout to be specific buttons, and you'd put an overlay on top.

At the time, my mum was using it as part of her teacher training - I remember her cutting out characters from children's TV shows and putting them into position on this big board (which was the size of a large graphics tablet). The key was that the shapes mapped out on the device didn't all have to be the same size, or even a 4 sided shape.

You had different profiles for different applications or modules within an application (I forget the computer side of it - I was a young kid at the time) and you'd simply swap over your overlay. So not automatic with a display underneath, but very similar to this sort of idea, just easier to implement these days.

Re:Aren't there already products like this? (1)

CJSpil (166214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963794)

Was originally available for the BBC Micro and could be plugged into the Archimedes if you had the user port podule installed.

Concept Keyboard A3 [computinghistory.org.uk]

Happy days, almost wants me to get my A310 or RiscPC 600 out of the cupboard.

Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962568)

Of course they can't just make an improvement to the mouse and produce it. Nooooo no, that's not how this works. They have to PATENT it. Remember the jocks in school? In the business world, patents are how you prove that you're cool and have slept with the whole cheerleading squad.

Re:Niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962596)

Patents are how you *keep others* from implementing it.

Re:Niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962696)

Patents are how you *keep others* from implementing it.

That's why greedy control-freaks think they're so cool, which is exactly what the previous post was talking about. That would still be true even if you didn't feel a need to enlighten us all by stating the fuckin' obvious.

Ick (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962574)

Terrible ergonomics. Your hand will block the view when using the mouse as it's meant to be used, and so see it you have to take your eyes off the screen. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Re:Ick (0)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962618)

Terrible ergonomics. Your hand will block the view when using the mouse as it's meant to be used, and so see it you have to take your eyes off the screen. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Me too. Context-sensitivity can be carried to an extreme. This sounds more like yet another Apple fashion statement than anything particularly practical.

Re:Ick (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962630)

I don't ever look at my mouse, unless it's hung up on something or otherwise not working. I'm not even sure how I'd break 20 years of training on that front, much let alone why I would want to.

Apple has made some nice mice - this just seems ridiculous.

Re:Ick (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962708)

My grandmother looks at her mouse all the time, because she still hasn't quite figured out where everything is.

That's how I see this: Sure, it'll take a bit of time to adjust to, but just like learning keyboard hotkeys, each application's function can be picked up fairly quickly. After that, you can return to ignoring your mouse.

Re:Ick (0)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962804)

My grandmother looks at her mouse all the time

And that's a good point ... I think you just described a good portion of Apple's target demographic.

Those of us who just want to make the mouse pointer go where we want it will keep using regular mice.

Re:Ick (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963284)

I don't ever look at my mouse, unless it's hung up on something or otherwise not working.

I do look at my mouse fairly frequently because of an obscure interaction between my KVM and my multi-input monitor. Without going into details, the quickest way to see if switching inputs actually happened with this KVM is to look down at my Microsoft optical mouse and see if its otherwise useless bling LED blinks when it gets a reset from the KVM.

From experience, I've found that having to look way down at my hand is *highly* annoying and unnatural, even if it only happens a couple of times per day. It's so far away from the screen that I have to move my whole head to see it, not just my eye muscles. This would be even worse if I weren't switching between computers and had to constantly search for where I was working on the screen after looking down at the mousepad.

IMO, putting any kind of display down on a mouse is just insane. Maybe a touchpad on top of the mouse could be useful (like a wheel button on steroids), but all visual feedback needs to stay on the main monitor.

Re:Ick (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963470)

Maybe a touchpad on top of the mouse could be useful (like a wheel button on steroids)

It is pretty nice, see the Magic Mouse [wikipedia.org] from, you guessed it, Apple.

Re:Ick (1)

csokat (547215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963750)

can you imagine this on a Logitech Air mouse though? I can see the 2 bits of tech working very well together

Re:Ick (1)

Adm.Wiggin (759767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963824)

You had me right up until:

... Apple has made some nice mice ...

Clearly, you've never tried to use the "hockey puck" or the "bar of soap" for real work. "Nice" isn't even in the right ball park.

Re:Ick (4, Insightful)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962692)

Terrible ergonomics. Your hand will block the view when using the mouse as it's meant to be used, and so see it you have to take your eyes off the screen. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Me too. Context-sensitivity can be carried to an extreme. This sounds more like yet another Apple fashion statement than anything particularly practical.

Actually, it sounds like just about all Apple patent stories on Slashdot: something that riles up the haters and isn't ever used in a product from Apple.

Patent Monkeys flinging poo?.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963702)

This sounds more like yet another Apple fashion statement than anything particularly practical.

This struck me the same as Apple announcing the display having a CCD/WebCam replacing some pixels in the center of the screen some years back....announced and then abandoned(?).
Whatever came of that tech, I wonder?
I'm seeing this as another thing thrown against the wall to see what sticks.
I guess we can wait and see...

Re:Ick (0)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962680)

Terrible ergonomics. Your hand will block the view when using the mouse as it's meant to be used, and so see it you have to take your eyes off the screen. Seems like a bad idea to me.

The example in the patent application is a number pad, I can see it being useful in that sort of context, if I was using mathematica, or balancing my budget. Of course I always use a laptop and occasionally a trackball, so I still won't use this, but I could see people with desktops finding it useful.

Re:Ick (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963094)

I already have a number pad that is a mouse [ortek.com].

I don't know about you, but when I'm using a mouse my fingers are resting on the buttons constantly. Asside from the fact that I don't (yet) have transparent fingers, adding a touch screen to the mouse buttons would just make "clicking" strange... Perhaps if the touch screens were just buttons with screens on top it would make sense... I have a keyboard like that... [artlebedev.com] (I use Dvorak and got tired of swapping key-caps.)

I might be able to use the soft buttons when I'm using my mouse in 10-key mode. Honestly, this looks like a solution in search of a problem.

Is it really that innovative to combine a few features of the the two products I already have? Seems like a small improvement, but patent worthy? Psh, when it comes to USPTO, if it ain't patented yet, you can get a patent for it. [freepatentsonline.com] (I think it's time to get rid of patents.)

Re:Ick (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963264)

I looked at your keyboard link, is that price right? $2,400 Wow.

Re:Ick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963772)

Yes, that price is right and only an idiot would pay that much for a keyboard.

Re:Ick (1)

LinkX39 (1100879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962778)

I'd be more worried about the comfort than being able to see the "screen." If your mouse would initiate a command when touched, what if you want to use the mouse WITHOUT initiating the command? How would you move it? Dunno how other people use their mouse, but my hand generally rests on the mouse when I use it, meaning I would constantly be touching the screen. Would I be expected to hold the mouse in some awkward position by which my fingers are not touching it......? Just because touch sensitivity works on displays doesn't mean it works for EVERYTHING. I think this is an example of Apple taking an idea a bit too far.......

Re:Ick (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962824)

I expect it'd work just like the Magic Mouse does already. If you're doing something recognized as a gesture, and not touching anywhere else, then it's assumed to be a gesture. Otherwise, if you're touching places that don't make sense, it's assumed that you're just holding the mouse.

Re:Ick (0)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962872)

Yeah, with Apple's terrible track record at UI this will probably bea complete disaster....

Re:Ick (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962934)

Yeah, with Apple's terrible track record at UI this will probably bea complete disaster....

How's their track record on mice, though?

try pressing two mouse buttons at the same time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963664)

How's their track record on mice, though?

horrible. e.g., try playing an first person shooter with apple mouse.

Re:Ick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963700)

Whatever the patent says, the main intent of this is probably to add pinching on desktops, which doesn't require vision.

Re:Ick (1)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963982)

Forget ergonomics! Your second point was my first thought: the only time I see my mouse is when I first sit down. Someone will come up with something useful for it, but there's no longer any money in it...

Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962656)

I love Apple's OS, I love their computers' style, but they have not produced a decent input device since they introduced the iMac. If I got an iMac right now, I'd put the keyboard and mouse aside, and get some quality stuff by companies like Unicomp, Cherry, Steelseries, Razer, or Logitech.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962812)

I think you haven't given their keyboards a chance. As far as I'm concerned, the Apple keyboard is the best keyboard on the market. My typing speed increased by ten words per minute after I got used to it. They do take a while to get used to because the flat keytops don't center your fingers for you like concave keys do, but I think that in the long term this leads to more accurate typing.

Their mice, on the other hand, are terrible.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (2, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963120)

I think you haven't given their keyboards a chance. As far as I'm concerned, the Apple keyboard is the best keyboard on the market. My typing speed increased by ten words per minute after I got used to it. They do take a while to get used to because the flat keytops don't center your fingers for you like concave keys do, but I think that in the long term this leads to more accurate typing.

Their mice, on the other hand, are terrible.

A million times this.

The current Apple keyboard looks like it would be a throwback to the shitty keyboards of the early '80s. I avoided using one for years, preferring loud, clicky keyboards that inherited the legacy of the Type M. Then I got a Macbook and had no choice in the matter. Turns out I was wrong all this time.

The flat Apple keyboard is the best I've ever used, and I can't explain why. It does do wonders for your typing speed, and doesn't lead to wrist strain as easily as more traditional keyboards. I've got major arthritis thanks to a bad injury, and it doesn't get aggrivated as easily as it once did.

The only drawback is that Apple refuses to produce a wireless keyboard with a number pad. Thankfully, those of us who want to stick with wired models don't have to deal with that nonsense.

And yes, Apple's mice suck. Badly.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963722)

The only drawback is that Apple refuses to produce a wireless keyboard with a number pad.

Here's a kinda cool solution for that problem:
Cropmark LMP Bluetooth Keypad [macsales.com]

Other than that I'd say just send in your suggestions to Apple. Believe it or not they have been known to listen to suggestions.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (1)

onefineline (1981168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963710)

Agreed. I love the current Apple keyboards. They did take some getting used to, but doubtfully more than a day.

Mice might be terrible but trackpad is awesome. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963816)

For FPS gaming, I like mice.

For everything else, a trackpad is way nicer - and the Apple desktop trackpad is fantastic.

I tried the Mighty Mouse but didn't really take to it, where gestures work great on the trackpad and it makes scrolling so much easier on the hands...

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962848)

Are you kidding? I love the Magic Mouse. Perhaps you haven't tried it.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963194)

It break easily. That mouse ball collects dirt faster than any other mouse I've used. It's not just me either, quite a few people at work have the same problem. A quality product should last more than half a year. Even worse, being an Apple product you can't fix it. They've glued it together, not just put a label over screws, so no easy way to clean it (yes, I've tried, following all the online hints I found). It looks nice, but it's badly designed, like many of the newer Apple products.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (1, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963272)

The Magic Mouse does not have a ball - the top surface is entirely a touch sensor. You're thinking of the Mighty Mouse, which did have a problem with the ball - it was too small and it gunked up too quickly and was hard to clean. The Magic Mouse is excellent though, and is what the Mighty Mouse should have been. The only time it falls down is as a gaming input device, but I have a regular Microsoft two button mouse with scrollwheel for that.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963596)

You're one generation behind. The Mighty Mouse is a POS. The Magic Mouse is rock solid.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962992)

Apple input devices are very VERY hit or miss. The pro mouse? Awesome. Mighty Mouse? Sucky after the ball gets gunked up for the thousandth time and won't roll right(Generally above average before that happens though).

I'd rather have though, a stock Apple keyboard than a stock Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc. keyboard. Those BLOW. Even G1 iMac keyboards were well ahead of the curve and as far as I'm concerned, no one's trying to catch up.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963016)

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.

Madal Bal natural Tree Syrup [healthmantra.co.uk]

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963086)

I definitely savored every little bit of it.

I'm glad you enjoyed the ass-to-mouth treatment, bitch.

Re:Who uses Apple's crap devices anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964066)

Yep, their keyboard is really a stupid design. Too much "aesthetics over functionality", I'd say. The aspect of a human using the device is clearly not incorporated into the design. And it is not even that beautiful. Sigh.

Why would you look at the mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962662)

The point of a mouse is so that you don't have to look at it.

I like it (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962670)

This interests me greatly. Think of how many games have a "left to select, right do do whatever seems more or less appropriate at the time" dynamic, and consider what they'd be able to do if your mouse could reconfigure itself on the fly. Some other ideas off the top of my head:

  • Games: Pick up an item, and gain new abilities that weren't even alluded to before. Old abilities are still equally accessible with the same gestures.
  • Emulators: Emulate a handheld controller.
  • Word processing: Convert almost the whole mouse to a small representation of the document. Touch any point on the mouse, and appear right at that place in the document.
  • OS interface: Common applications can be launched with a touch (probably multifinger), supplanting or augmenting the OS X dock.
  • Multimedia: A bluetooth mouse is now a fully-functional remote control.
  • General: Add buttons for common actions at will.

This could turn into something very good indeed. Of course, it'll cost $69 at an Apple store, and come in a lovely shade of white or aluminum, but the potential is huge.

Re:I like it (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963198)

consider what they'd be able to do if your mouse could reconfigure itself on the fly.

Like what? Grow new buttons? [google.com]

Every GUI since the multi-button mouse was invented has functions to reassign dynamically the function of each button. Apple's problem is that they are still groping with the concept that a mouse can have more than one button.

Re:I like it (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963592)

Not only grow them, but get rid of 'em, too. The ludicrous 18-button mouse is always an 18-button mouse, whether it makes sense for the current application or not.

Apple's input devices have had "two buttons" for a long time. Click with one finger, and it's button 1 (left, usually). Use two fingers, and it's button 2 (right, usually). The Magic Mouse adds multi-touch gestures, but as I've never used it I don't know exactly what they are.

Apple's goal has (almost) always been to use the latest technology to have a simple design provide the most functionality possible. Take a look at the Magic Trackpad. It's a metal slab. No markings, no (visible) buttons, and yet it's a fully-functional multi-touch input device. The folks I know who've used it prefer its abilities over a mouse.

This latest patent is just an extension of the "more function" goal. Typically, assigning functions to buttons is either done by the user, tediously by hand, or by the application with a faint hope that the user figures out what to do. With a display on the mouse, automatically-changing functions can be shown visually. That means more dynamic functions, less user confusion, and a clean appearance. It sounds good to me.

so it's an iphone with a laser on the bottom? (1)

moglito (1355533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962712)

.. or are they just going to forget about the laser in the future and just use the accelerometer for that purpose? Sorry, but to me that doesn't seem quite patent worthy "a device with a motion sensor and a touch screen"? come on! I believe there are even already apps for that (using your touch-screen phone as a mouse).

Link to PDF containing figures (images) (3, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962734)

The link in TFS is to the "full text" provided by the USPTO--"full text" does not include any figures (images)--to see the figures via the USPTO, a suitable browser plug-in for viewing TIFF is required. If that's not for you, this link (PDF) includes the figures [freepatentsonline.com].

Mouse (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962752)

Personally, I dislike the design of the Apple mice. No right click is annoying, but tolerable- but I keep hitting the side button, which is quite annoying.

Still, I'd love to see something like this become mainstream. Maybe then the prices for customizable keyboards will come down.

Re:Mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962866)

Personally, I dislike the design of the Apple mice. No right click is annoying, but tolerable- but I keep hitting the side button, which is quite annoying.

Still, I'd love to see something like this become mainstream. Maybe then the prices for customizable keyboards will come down.

No right click? All Apple mice have been able to right click for about a decade now. I love how this is still used as a reason why one shouldn't buy a Mac.

Re:Mouse (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963302)

I think what makes you think "no right click" is that if your index finger still rests on the left hand surface and you right click it sometimes interprets this as a left click. You have to train yourself to lift your index finger up (not ideal) or shift it slightly right when you go for right click. You could also remap the right click to a different gesture if you wanted, or a different location. I know a friend who has swapped over the right click to the left side of the trackpad on her MacBook Pro since she kept clicking it accidentally when dragging or swiping which she does with her right hand, so favours sweeping from top left to bottom right. You could do something similar on the Magic Mouse if it was problematic.

From one button to how many? (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962788)

So they've gone from one-button-is-the-best-interface to something rediculous.

The mouse is already context sensitive -- welcome to the concept of soft-buttons.

The only reason to re-arrange the mouse buttons is for those times when I re-arrange the growth of my fingers.

As for the display itself, I'm sitting in front of three 30" monitors. You expect me to look at my mouse?

Re:From one button to how many? (0)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962928)

So they've gone from one-button-is-the-best-interface to something rediculous.

Erm, Apple is already way past one-button mice. Take a look at the Magic Mouse [apple.com].

This patent is the next step up from that.

Re:From one button to how many? (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963342)

Erm, learn the definition of the work "from".

Re:From one button to how many? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963690)

They have, essentially, a very large number of buttons on the Magic Mouse because the entire surface is multitouch. It can take gestures and provide many virtual buttons. This new patent adds a display so that the surface can reflect state and button images, adding to how the multitouch works.

Certainly a mouse with physical buttons does provide some advantages over one with virtual buttons, such as better tactile feedback, but it's also not as flexible. There's tradeoffs in everything.

Apple should simply buy Wacom (0)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962852)

and call it a day. An iPad that could be touch used combined with a pressure sensitive pen would be pure awesomeness.

Cool: mouse-display recursion! (5, Insightful)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962856)

They should put a little USB port on this display mouse, where you can plug in another mouse, to control a little pointer on host mouse's display, as an alternative to using it as a touch screen.

I'll stick with my Logitech trackball, thank you.. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963764)

Head A Splodes.
When I need a mouse and GUI, I'll stick with my trackball; but most of the time I use my keyboard and a CLI.

Now a reliable, efficient, and SECURE neural interface would be welcome for me though.(my typing skills suck donkey balls since I've had a stroke 1.5 years ago!)

Re:Cool: mouse-display recursion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964072)

haha, fucking hilarious!

Who the hell looks at their mouse that often? (2)

Pezbian (1641885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962906)

This is like hunt and peck for your mouse. Memory and touch is the rule with typing and you still have those home row locator bits on the top of the keys to let you know where you are. I don't see any locators on a shiny Apple mouse. "It would ruin the look."

A square wheel would in fact be superior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962976)

I'm typing on a Mac computer using a Microsoft keyboard and a $10 Logitech mouse. Apple makes great computers but their keyboards and mice have always sucked! Anyone that types much hates Mac keyboards and they keep getting worse. The latest ones are like tapping on a desktop. But hey the look trendy. I've never had a "Mighty Mouse" last more than a month. The scroll tit dies in one to four weeks making it a brick for what I do, computer graphics. You want to be innovative? Try making devices that work as good as they look. Apple has made crap keyboards since day one and their mice have always been the worst. Making them even more trendy isn't going to fix a thing. Make them last and make them comfortable to use. Want my business? Make a wireless mouse that will last a year of constant use. I've never had a wireless last more than a month no matter how much I pay. It's why I use $10 Logitechs, they last 10X longer than the $50 wireless ones.

Re:A square wheel would in fact be superior (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963048)

Disagree on keyboards, kind of agree on mice.

However, have you used a Magic Track Pad? Those things are phenomenal. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I really do not enjoy the idea of either recharging batteries all the time or throwing out batteries.

Apple TV controller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963034)

Perhaps this device is designed to be more than a mouse. Imagine a device that could double as a remote for an Apple TV? On the table it's a mouse, pick it up and it has remote buttons on it. Turn it over and there's a camera on the bottom.

I for one think Apple has much bigger plans for the Apple TV, like its own IPTV service.

Can I jailbroke it? (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963142)

So can I jailbroke it and make a phonecall from my mouse, using FaceTime?..

Re:Can I jailbroke it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963178)

Jailbroke? Is that the past tense for Jailbreak?

Re:Can I jailbroke it? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963788)

Well, he/she has just gone broke from too many times getting the 'go past GO, directly to jail and not getting $200' card.
Luck of the draw and all that in the game, you know.

Or the poster is only semi-literate, as is common in the 'digital age'.

Obligatory: 'Get off my lawn, punks!' is needed here.
Loose/lose, its>it's>their/there/there's, etc...

About Time. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963246)

Not a big fan of Apple hardware, but I'm glad to see they are finally addressing the lack of a num pad (other than suggesting I go out and buy an extra keyboard). Even your average liberal arts major has to do their taxes.

Prior Art (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963248)

There's plenty of prior art, but just to throw some gasoline on the fire, my Microsoft Sidewinder mouse has 11 buttons, customizable weighting, a scroll wheel, macros and an LCD display.


Once upon a time I had an Apple with a 1 button mouse and it was the best thing ever, but that was a Mac 512e (with 2 floppy drives!) and it was the year 1988. Times have changed.

Who ever looks at his mouse?!? (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963438)

I know I don't. Oh no, I just did... But usually you look at the screen, if you can't type you might be even looking at the keyboard from time to time. But you never look at your mouse unless there's something wrong with it or it starts to feel sticky. Or if someone someone might tell you to look at it.

Groundbreaking (1)

cOldhandle (1555485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963490)

This sounds like a great idea. I'm off to patent my "touch display chair seat" invention. It just requires you to get out of the chair and turn around to see the display and interact with it. Imagine the possibilities. One could even use it to display data, instead of the monitor.

My Pointing Keyboard Patent Was Approved (1)

input.expert (995886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963498)

Good news.

I was told by my patent agent today that my pointing keyboard patent was approved.

U.S. Patent Application No. 11/254,452 COMPUTER KEYBOARD WITH POINTER CONTROL

My keyboard allows the user to have all fingers on the home row for typing and with the fingers on the home row one can also point, click, type, scroll, backspace, delete, and esc.

The click buttons and scroll wheel are below the space bar and operated with one's thumbs.

My keyboard gives the user total control of the computer screen.

No more reaching over for the mouse.

My pointing keyboard has the precision of an optical or laser mouse, because it uses the same components.

A user will also be able to ten key from the home row in one version.

The whole keyboard moves.

It is a high performance, high productivity, and comfortable keyboard.

The world's fastest keyboard.

The world's fastest gaming keyboard..

I will try to put up a youtube of it in operation under " pointing keyboard "

For my supporters and my patent agent Hal Bennett at Seed IP.

Thank you.

the ”father of the perfect keyboard”

gokeyboard.com inputexpert.com

.

Editor trying to sound sophisticated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963672)

> the possibilities extend much farther

Not in this case; only conceptual advancement is the subject, not physical distance, so the possibilities extend much further.

"waaah, waaah, I never look at my mouse", cmon (0)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963714)

I've been touch typing since I was 14, this isn't a pissing contest, I'm sure there are some single digits here who were typing in the womb, my point being, for a very long time I've been able to fully use a keyboard without looking, right now I'm looking at my roof.

If its easy to do that, why the hell couldnt I learn to use an extra function or two on my mouse? That I'd assigned myself? If I kept "bumping it" at X and Y location on the mouse, fine, I could move it somewhere ELSE, to where my particular right hand DID NOT hit all time!

This thing sounds fantastic! I use a Magic Mouse as it is, I love the design, I love the "multi touch" abilities, I just wish it were "higher", its very slim.

I'm 1.95M tall, with large hands, not Apples fault, big deal. I'm not going to cry about their mice being "too small"

Even if all this did were change the colour of the mouse, or allow its battery life to be displayed, or the current fan speeds of your computer or or or...it sounds cool. It would really cost bugger all to add. If we dont like it, fine! I think the Droid X is the ugliest POS phone I've ever seen, I dont complain about "typical Android ugliness", I vote with my Paypal account (not really using a wallet for online purchases :-) ) and dont buy one!

I like the Magic Mouse, if it had a display built into the top, touch sensitive area, I could well see myself buying the new one. I'm sure it could do a lot of amazing things, and if it doesnt? Then I wont buy one.

Apple Optimus Maximus (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963738)

Personally, I would love to see Apple collaborate with Art Lebenev to bring an up-to-date Optimus Maximus [artlebedev.com] keyboard at €200-300. First see if optical feedback technology sells at the right price and only then try it with flat surfaces and tactile feedback as well.

Right now, it's too much of a jump. Anyway, it's just a patent. I doubt we're gonna see anything before 2013-14.

Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963786)

It's not going to be a mouse, it's going to be a trackpad. I believe they are going to call it the "iPad" ;)

-Shaggy.

Is this different to the eeekeyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963842)

The Asus eeekeyboard will presumably do the exact same thing, except that the product has been doing the rounds for about three years. There must be dozens of things like this. Even remote control apps for your ipod touch work similarly.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...