Both Apple and Microsoft have introduced mice with “multi-touch” sensing. This is arguably the first substantial improvement to the mouse since it was invented in 1968 by Doug Englebart. Apple’s product, the Magic Mouse, is commercially available for $69. Microsoft has 5 prototype mice that are still in the R & D stage.
Regular mice only allow movement via the palm and the clicking of a left, right, and middle mouse button.
Why not detect inputs from all 5 fingers all over and around the surface of the mouse? Multi-touch sensing technology for touch screens has allowed detection of multiple simultaneous presses all over a display screen. A multi-touch mouse simply applies multi-touch technology on a mouse.
This article will compare the Apple and Microsoft offerings.
Apple: Magic Mouse
The Magic Mouse is a straightforward application of multi-touch to mousing and is a tame improvement compared with Microsoft’s more radical designs. The Magic Mouse is based on a regular mouse body but covers the top with capacitive sensors. These sensors are the same that would be used in standard touch screens, like on the iPhone.