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Magneto-Mechanical "Mouse" (Fast Cursor Positioning Device)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000044337D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Comerford, LD: AUTHOR

Abstract

A "mouse" is a fast cursor positioning device which has been shown, in human factors studies, to offer advantages over other fast cursor positioning devices, such as track balls and joy sticks. A mouse consists of a small box which is attached to a computer by means of a flexible cable. There are generally one or more buttons on a mouse whose state can be queried by the computer. The mouse also contains some mechanism for reporting the relative movement of the mouse across a surface. Reliability problems are addressed which are common in this part of mice as they are presently made. Mice for a variety of computers are available on the open market. These mice universally use either of two methods for detecting the relative motion of the mouse on a surface. These methods are mechanical sensing and optical sensing.

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Magneto-Mechanical "Mouse" (Fast Cursor Positioning Device)

A "mouse" is a fast cursor positioning device which has been shown, in human factors studies, to offer advantages over other fast cursor positioning devices, such as track balls and joy sticks. A mouse consists of a small box which is attached to a computer by means of a flexible cable. There are generally one or more buttons on a mouse whose state can be queried by the computer. The mouse also contains some mechanism for reporting the relative movement of the mouse across a surface. Reliability problems are addressed which are common in this part of mice as they are presently made. Mice for a variety of computers are available on the open market. These mice universally use either of two methods for detecting the relative motion of the mouse on a surface. These methods are mechanical sensing and optical sensing. Optical mice sense their relative positional changes by illuminating a patterned surface (made specially for their use) and detecting changes in the reflected light. These changes can be interpreted by electronic circuitry associated with the mouse to provide change of relative position information to the computer. These mice tend to be less popular because, in spite of their high reliability, they must be used on a special surface. This is a nuisance to most users. Mechanical mice contain a ball which can roll freely on any surface. This ball is mechanically coupled to some transducer, such as a potentiometer or an optical encoder, to provide signals which the associated electronics can interpret to the computer as change of relative position information. Mechanical mice tend to be unreliable after an initial reliable period because the rolling ball collects dirt and other debris from the surface on which it rolls, and then transports the dirt to the relatively delicate mechanical ball- to-transducer couplings. Fig. 1A shows the cross section of a mouse relative position sensing apparatus which offers the convenience of mechanical mice an...