From Trackball to Floating Mice: The Evolution of Computer Peripherals for Navigation

Computer Mouse Today’s computer mice have undergone great changes since the 60’s. Nowadays, there’s a variety of builds for unique applications such as the mechanical, optical, laser, and blue track design.

But, according to the IT Factory, despite all these changes, the mice from before and now are still practically the same. Both are still navigational tools with the goal of making human and computer interaction easier.

No matter the intended use, the “mouse” still addresses the area of precision, control, and correctness of input. Below are the different types of this age-old computer peripheral.

Mechanical Mouse

These are your traditional trackball-based design mouse. Before the invention of laser products, a lot of manufacturers used rubber balls as the primary sensors in computer mice. Whenever the user drags the semi-attached rubber ball inside the mouse, the components inside it interpret the movement and influence the position of the cursor on-screen. Compared to the modern peripheral today, a mechanical mouse is heavier and harder to use.

Optical Mouse

By using LED technology, an optical mouse eases the use of heavy trackballs with light. It works much more efficiently because it only needs the data of the LED passing through table surfaces. It has the same concept as the mechanical mouse, but it provides a more practical approach.

Wireless Mouse

Through the use of Bluetooth, infrared, and other invisible radio signals, a mouse can operate without the cords. The dongle or mini-USB receivers interpret the movements of the computer mice together with the use of batteries. But, this type of mouse often experiences lags since its connection with the computer is non-direct and third-party inclusive.

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Floating Mouse

Popular for gamers, this levitating mouse uses a mix of gravitational and magnetic principles to work. Basically, since the computer mouse floats around the surface, it experiences zero-friction and resistance, giving a true smooth scroll and no delays.

The evolution of the computer mice is a careful response to the changing preference and needs of the user. In retrospect, it’s still the same device, just with different materials.