Apple Building a Better Mouse?
image via Engadget
A report in AppleInsider today
asserted that Apple is preparing an update to the "MightyMouse" for release with the new iMac in fall. Later, an FCC filing showing a new Bluetooth mouse
was shown briefly on the FCC's website before it was taken down. Fortunately, Engadget captured the image above before it disappeared.
According to reports, the new mouse will do away with the scroll wheel in favor of a touch-sensitive surface, possibly controlled using methods described in a patent filing Apple made in 2006
. In that filing, iPhone interface designer Brian Huppi discussed a touch-sensitive mouse with two operating modes. "The method generally comprises first sensing in which hand position the mouse is being held, each hand position indicating a corresponding mode of operation of the mouse," Huppi wrote. "If the mouse is being held in a first hand position, the mouse performs according to a first mode of operation, whereas if the mouse is being held in a second hand position, the mouse performs according to a second mode of operation." The notes suggested the first mode of operation may be a cursor control mode the second mode may be a pan and/or scroll control mode.
The reports also indicate that the touch-sensitive mouse will also use multi-touch capabilities - like those on the iPhone - to extend interactive control. Such a method was described in a 2007 patent by Apple.
Details are unavailable as yet, but possibilities include creating virtual buttons on the mouse surface, and programmable functions for various multi-finger taps and movements.
The Mighty Mouse is currently on two-to-three week backorder, like other products that reports have said are going to be refreshed. This is an indication that the new mouse may well be shipped along with those new Mac models, possibly as soon as this month.