Letâ€™s face it, the Mighty Mouse is flawed. Luckily, Apple has filed for numerous patents directly hinting at a multi-touch Mighty Mouse, which could prove to bring us an unexpected treat sometime in the near future.
The Mighty Mouse made its public debut on August 2, 2005 becoming Appleâ€™s first multi-button mouse ever. Its wireless counterpart was released the following year and aside from a minor aesthetic change in 2007, the device has remained practically untouched since its inception. While indeed, the Mighty Mouse brought a well received touch-sensitive top shell, a 360 degree clickable scroll ball, and pressure sensitive side â€œsqueezeâ€ buttons, Appleâ€™s current touch technology and manufacturing methods leave the little old Mighty Mouse in the dust. Time for a change? Perhaps the design below can offer up what may be in store.
The Mighty Mouse is currently made of white plastic, a material that is becoming rare amongst Apple products (iPhone 3G aside). We have seen the white plastic iMac morph into an aluminum gem, and more recently have witnessed the older MacBooks lose their plastic case in favor of an aluminum unibody design. Simple logic would agree that a shift from the current white plastic shell to an aluminum casing would not be out of the question. Anyone who owns or has used a Mighty Mouse for any extended period of time is not only familiar with the gunk that accumulates along the edges but have probably had a problem with dirt building on the scroll ball rendering it useless until thoroughly cleaned. What would would be more amazing than gripping an aluminum Mighty Mouse that utilizes touch action scrolling?
Appleâ€™s touch technology has grown leaps and bounds since the debut of the Mighty Mouse. A 2007 patent application details an â€œarbitrary shaped grippable memberâ€ (donâ€™t get any filthy ideas here) that incorporates positioning and multitouch detection to determine a users action. In essence, it would act as one seamless area from which a user could scroll and pan by dragging a finger over the deviceâ€™s surface. The mouse would also have the ability to process various movements and gestures assigned to different functions on the computer. â€œFor example, gestures can be created to detect and effect a user command to resize a window, scroll a display, rotate an object, zoom in or out of a displayed view, delete or insert text or other objects, etc.â€ The patent goes on to detail that â€œgestures can also be used to invoke and manipulate virtual control interfaces, such as volume knobs, switches, sliders, handles, knobs, doors, and other widgets that may be created to facilitate human interaction with the computing system.â€
As the design indicates, an updated aluminum Mighty Mouse could boast sleeker dimensions that are better contoured to the hand. A lower profile body would make touch usability more versatile for complex gestures while still retaining enough height to fit the necessary batteries to power it. Outfitted with a glass front end surface to capture finger movements, this could be the end all be all Mighty Mouse of the future.