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On Dec. 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart gave the first public demonstration of a computer mouse. Today we look at the devices history, as well as futuristic concepts for computer interfaces.

Of Mice and men

Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute is largely credited as the inventor of the computer mouse. His research on the mouse and making interacting with computers easier began in the early 1960s. NASA helped fund the research by 1966.

mouse cutawayTail to tale

Engelbart presented his cursor-moving computer device in what the computing world calls “The Mother of All Demos.” The mouse was featured in 1968 with presentations on newly discovered technology including video conferencing, email, hypertext and a collaborative real-time editor for text.

The computer mouse was not utilized on a personal computer until 1973 when the Xerox Alta debuted. It was not a popular feature for another decade, once Apple Computers made it standard equipment.

Englebart never received royalties for inventing the mouse since SRI held the patent and it expired by the time the device became an essential item.

Variations

The German company Telefunken is largely credited with creating the first mouse with a rolling ball. Optical mice using infrared LED came out in 1980.

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Modern mouse

With advancements in technology coming so fast, especially in virtual reality, a keyboard and mouse might be nonexistent in the future. Here are just a few new designs and models of the computer mouse that have better ergonomics and a wider range of capabilities.

mice types

Look ma, no hands

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is funding research for a company called Neuralink. The company is researching the development of Neural Lace technology, which would link human brains with computers without the need of a physical connection. Neural Lace, a tiny mesh, would be injected into the skull and encompass the brain.

Musk has expressed concern about artificial intelligence outpacing that of humans and said he believes Neuralink technology could be used to help humans keep up.

Sources: Wired, Asus, Tuvie, itechfuture.com, Computinghistory.org, Time, SRI International. Photos from respective companies and Wikimedia Commons