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Will the Computer Mouse Go Extinct?

b2ap3_thumbnail_olmouse400How could it have ever come to this? The everyday practical use of the beloved computer mouse has been put in jeopardy due to the relatively recent introduction of touchscreen technology. Tablets, smartphones, and touchscreen computers are driving our handheld friends off of the shelves and into history books. Will the computer mouse go extinct in the near future?

The Evolution of the Mouse
We did some digging on the history of the computer mouse. It’s perhaps technology’s most innovative tool, matched with the most peculiar name. The mouse was invented in 1964 by Douglas Engelbart. The original was comprised of two metal wheels sending signal to a circuit board cased up in a wooden box. The invention was called the “mouse” because of its literal resemblance to our small furry friends. Check out this video of Engelbart demonstrating the computer mouse for the first time in 1968.

Since then, the more functional trackball mouse was brought to us in 1972 by Bill English, and the modern day optical mouse was delivered in 1980. Improvements have been made for optimal computer screen navigation since then, but is there a next step in computer mouse evolution? Has it met its end?

The End of the Mouse
Statistically, there’s a 15% chance that you accessed this blog post using a touchscreen / not using a mouse. This number is steadily rising as tablets, smartphones, touchscreen mp3 players, and touchscreen computers are becoming more prominent in the technology market. After all, isn’t it easier to simply touch where you want to navigate on a screen rather than coordinating through a separate device?

A perfect application of touchscreen technology is Internet browsing. If you come across a picture icon that you want to enhance, just touch it. If you want to go back to a page that you were just on, just touch the back arrow, or touch and swipe your finger backward. You can easily navigate through text boxes by simply touching them to place your cursor. Word processing is just as easy to navigate without a computer mouse. You can use your finger to highlight text, place your cursor, make font edits, copy and paste, and do literally everything that you can do with a mouse. Navigating through your operating system is just as simple as web browsing and word processing. Simply touch the programs and menus that you want to open. It doesn’t get much more intuitive than that.

Without a doubt, technological products are advancing in this direction of extreme intuition using touchscreen technology. As more tablets, smartphones, and touchscreen computers enter the market, more people will pick them up and discover the extreme ease of navigating your computer’s software without a computer mouse. Over time, technology producers will continue to wean us off of our use of the mouse and move us toward touchscreen technology until the majority of us see no need to pair a computer mouse with our devices. Touchscreens will most likely get larger and less cluttered to allow for easier navigation with our fingertips, and more “gesture control” technology will be introduced to even surpass the need to touch the screen for some applications. The sky’s the limit with new technology, and we’ll all be just as giddy about these new possibilities as Engelbart was about his wooden mouse.

Imagine: A Workday without a Mouse
Are you nervous about the potential of losing your computer mouse? For some of you, it may seem as though you’ve just now become accustomed to using it (but hopefully not). Rest assured, there will always be an option to use a mouse with your computer, even though it’s function will become superfluous. Think of it like watching movies via video cassette. The option is still available to purchase cassette players and hook them into televisions, but the latest movies will not be released on that format.

TMS can help you either preserve your way of life with the computer mouse, or help push you forward into the new age of touchscreen technology. Give us a call at 1 (626) 737-2960, and we’ll suggest some products based on your company’s technology wants and needs. If you’re not a fan of the expiration of the computer mouse, give us a call and we’ll suggest a few ways to keep your mouse in the game.