Microsoft Hardware has designed a new computer mouse called Microsoft Touch Mouse which adds touch features on top of the usual mouse functionality. The mouse looks like any other mouse albeit with a weird form factor on first glance. It offers no mouse buttons in the traditional sense of the word, only a touch interface that makes up the upper half of the mouse body.
The touch interface reacts to touches. It is possible for instance to left-click and right-click by taping the finger in the right locations on the mouse surface. Microsoft states that it can do everything that a normal mouse can do which would indicate that there should be an emulation of a middle-mouse button as well. That's however not confirmed and not shown in any of the videos.
The video demonstrates the capabilities of the touch features of the mouse. It is possible to use one, two or three fingers to activate features on the screen.
One Finger lets you manage the content of a document or webpage – moving one finger lets you precisely scroll in any direction and hyperscroll through long documents with a quick flick of your finger, while using your thumb lets you move back/forward easily through your internet browser.
Two Fingers lets you manage multiple windows by maximizing, minimizing, restoring, and snapping them side-by-side.
Three Fingers lets you navigate the whole desktop – three fingers up to display all of your open windows for easy task switching or three fingers down for clearing the desktop entirely.
It uses BlueTrack Technology to work on virtually any surface without difficulties. The USB Nano transceiver can pick up signals at a 30-foot range.
The mouse has been designed for Windows 7 exclusively and it is likely that drivers are shipping with it that enable the functionality on the operating system. It is not likely that the touch feature will work on other operating systems.
Microsoft concentrated solely on the touch capabilities of the mouse, avoiding other relevant information that users may want to know. This includes the mouse's dpi and whether a middle-mouse button is emulated or not.
The Microsoft Touch Mouse will be available in May 2011 for a price of $79.95. (via)
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