The end of the mouse

by Dirk on July 27th, 2010 - Comments (4)

Leave it to Apple to turn speculation of the future obsolescence of the mouse as a computing input device into present reality. Today Apple launched the Magic Trackpad, a mouse replacement that accomplishes all of the input interactions of the mouse as well as all of the input interactions of portable computing devices such as the iPad and iPhone.

It is pure genius. Apple understands that there are generations of legacy computing behaviour around the mouse, not to mention advantages that a mouse as input has for current desktop and laptop computing experiences. Yet, they also know that gestural and touch interfaces are the future, and many users want these behaviours to permeate all of their computing – not just mobile.

So, voila! Apple creates a product that works for the older generation – while inculcating them into the interactions of the future – and becomes a “must buy” for the new breed of computer users who are frustrated their touch computing is limited simply to mobile.

The product was just announced, so it may not live up to its promise in reality, but the idea is right on and is another illustration of why Apple keeps staying ahead, against all odds.

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4 Responses to “The end of the mouse”

  1. Hans Gerwitz says:

    It’s a dangerous oversimplification to refer to “gestural and touch interfaces”. Trackpads (and the Magic Mouse) are gestural, of course. And they involve touching. But let’s not mistake these similarities for anything but a minor bridge from the desktop’s indirect, pointer-oriented interfaces to (modern) mobile’s direct-manipulation touch model.

  2. [...] not convinced. Even though it is common to confound gestural touch surfaces and direct touch UI1, this is still an indirect focus controller. I cannot imagine Apple adopting [...]

  3. [...] not convinced. Even though it is common to confound gestural touch surfaces and direct touch UI, this is still an indirect focus controller. I cannot imagine Apple adopting [...]

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