Who Invented the Mouse ?

The first computer mouse was invented by technology visionary and inventor Douglas Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) in the 1960s and was patented on November 17, 1970.  At the time of the development of computer mouse, Douglas was working at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California in the USA. William (Bill) English was a colleague of Engelbart who also contributed to the development of the mouse.

who invented the mouse

The mouse at that time was known as “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System” and was termed as the most efficient way to interact with the computer. The first public demonstration of the early mouse was held on December 9, 1968, in San Francisco, the USA by Engelbart. The presentation/demo was called The Mother of All Demos. Engelbart and his team also demonstrated other influential and revolutionary concepts to public like the word processing, teleconferencing, email, several other forms of networked collaboration, hypertext, video conferencing via a high speed modem, shared screens via a network (where control could be passed back and forth), a form of windowed computing etc. All these concepts are now a staple of modern computing.

However, it is interesting to note that Engelbart never received any royalties for his invention. He received the patent for the  mouse as an assignor of SRI, which later licensed it to Apple. No royalties were paid to Engelbart. Bill English even still receives little credit to this day for his contribution to invent the computer mouse.

Why did a computer mouse call a mouse?

There was a cord coming out of the back of the mouse which reminded Engelbart of the rodent mouse which immediately became popular. And the computer mouse was started to be referred to as “mouse”.

Before The Mouse Was Invented

In the early days when there was no mouse to use as an input device, users typed codes and commands to make functions/things happen on monitors of the computers.

 Mouse Goes Mainstream

Before 1983 mouse was not used by the public on a large scale. However, in 1983 when Microsoft updated the MS-DOS program to make it mouse-compatible and developed the first PC-compatible mouse, it started to go mainstream. Soon other computer manufacturers followed the suit and developed their systems which were compatible with the mouse. The era of the computer mouse begins.

The Trackball/Optical/Wireless Mouse

The trackball mouse was developed in 1972 by William (Bill) English which allows users to control the cursor movement by a rotating ball embedded in the mouse itself. It has become one of the essential features of the modern mouse today.

The optical mouse uses light-emitting technology with one or more light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and an imaging array of photodiodes to detect movement relative to the underlying surface. However, a laser mouse is an optical mouse that uses laser light in the operation of a mouse. Cordless or wireless mouse are used nowadays that provide much more comfort to users as they can be used without any wires attached. They use some form of wireless technology like Bluetooth, RF, or infrared radio waves to connect with the computer. Wireless mouse became popular in the 2000s. The speed of computer mice is measured in Mickeys per second.

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