Ten years ago, the idea of not using a mouse to navigate through a computer was an idea only found in science fiction movies. With the introduction of tablets and touchscreen technology, our little handheld friends are feeling left out. Is the death of the computer mouse in our near future?
The Birth of the Mouse
Where did the mouse come from anyway? It’s perhaps technology’s most brilliant tool with the most peculiar name. It was invented in 1964 by Douglas Engelbart and was made of a wooden case, a circuit board, and two metal wheels. This device was named a computer mouse because of its literal resemblance to the small annoying rodent. The more functional trackball mouse was invented later in 1972 by Bill English, and the optical mouse that we’re familiar with today was invented in 1980.
We’re not going to make any speculations right now about how PCs are going extinct, as many PCs are now using touchscreen technology and are selling just fine. But we are going to consider the possibility that the computer mouse is on its way out.
Death of the Mouse?
Statistically, there’s a 15% chance that you got to this blog post without using a computer mouse. Tablets, smartphones, and touch screen mp3 players, are transforming how we do computing altogether. After all, isn’t it much more intuitive to navigate where you want to go on a screen by physically touching it?
Browsing the Internet is a perfect application of touch screen technology. If you like a picture and want to see more, just touch it to make it blow up. Want to go back or forward? Just touch the arrow. Need to type in an address? Just touch the browser bar, and your onscreen keyboard comes rushing to your aid. Word processing is just as simple without a mouse. You can highlight text to edit, place your cursor, make font edits, and do literally everything that you do with a mouse using your fingers. The same goes for navigating your operating system; touch the programs and menus you want to open.
There’s no doubt that technology is moving in this direction. As more and more companies release tablets, smartphones, and touchscreen computers, more people are using them for their everyday computer tasks, negating any need to use a computer mouse. Technology producers will likely wean us off of the mouse gradually over time, as they have been, until the majority of us see no need to use them. Screens will probably get bigger and less cluttered over the next few years to allow for easier navigation with our fingertips, and we’ll all be as giddy about how awesome the new technology is as Douglas Engelbart was about his wooden mouse. New devices also have begun to incorporate gesture control to provide users with new ways to interact with their devices.
Evolution of the Mouse
Are you scared or nervous about these possibilities? Surely, there will always be an option to use a mouse with your computer, but it may not be the most efficient way, as new technology will likely leave the mouse in the dust. Think of it like listening to music on tape cassettes. The option is still available to listen to your old tapes but the newest music will not be available in cassette format. PACE Technical Services can help either way. If you’re looking for ways to be more efficient with touch screen technology, give us a call at 905.763.7896, and we’ll suggest a few products based on your company’s needs. If you hate the change that’s coming, give us a call, and we’ll suggest ways to keep your mouse in the game.
What do you think? Is the computer mouse coming to the end of its reign? Let us know in the comments.