Apple patent reimagines the computer mouse

In recent years, we haven’t seen much in the way of mouse innovation. However, a new patent from Apple could radically change the way we use mice.

What is so radical about the design? Apple has reimagined how users interact with their mice. They’ve also reimagined how we control them. Instead of moving the mouse to control all the actions, you will have to tilt the mouse to control it.

Is this the Magic Mouse Pro?

Now, it isn’t confirmed if Apple is actually pursuing this design. It recently received patent #10,496,187. The name “Magic Mouse Pro” is what the internet is calling the project. So everything here is just plans and there’s no confirmed Magic Mouse Pro yet.

Now that we cleared that up, let’s get into what the patent says about the new design:

“An input assembly is provided for controlling an electronic device, where the input assembly may include a housing structure providing an orientationless surface with respect to at least one axis of an input coordinate system of the input assembly, a sensor subassembly at least partially protected by the housing structure, and processor operative to detect, with the sensor subassembly, a user coordinate system of a user with respect to the orientationless surface, detect, with the sensor subassembly, a physical use of the housing structure, and determine a control action for the electronic device based on the user coordinate system and the physical use.”

Patent image for the Magic Mouse Pro
This is an image found in the Apple patent for the Magic Mouse Pro, Image courtesy: Apple

So what does all this mean? Essentially, the patent is talking about a mouse that has an “orientationless surface” and uses a sensor to detect where its user is and orient itself to the user. It also looks like the mouse has a round shape. Essentially, the sensor will sense where your hand is and adjust itself accordingly so it is lined up correctly.

However, the key piece of information here is the mouse moves the on-screen cursor using a dome-shaped directional pad. So, users will have to tilt the top of the mouse in the direction you want the cursor to go.

Will people accept the new design?

The big question here is: will people accept the new design. People are used to the standard mouse we use today. That can be a good and bad thing. It is hard to get people to change what works for them, but on the flip side, the new design will drive up interested. If this is the new Apple Magic Mouse Pro, it will take up less room than a mouse and it is close enough to a mouse that it probably won’t feel too foreign.

There’s nothing definite. Apple has a patent for the design, but there’s no word on whether it will materialize into anything. Would you try out this mouse or do you think Apple should ditch the idea?

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

Related Content