CHICAGO, April 19, 1999 — In 1968, computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart demonstrated the first computer mouse. This curious wooden prototype, roughly twice the size of a hockey puck, would soon become an essential peripheral, paving the way for the graphical user interface and transforming the way we use computers. Although hardware and software have gone through countless quantum leaps in the past 30 years, today’s mouse isn’t much different than those manufactured decades ago.
Today, the mouse is finally catching up. At Windows World/Spring Comdex, Microsoft unveiled the new IntelliMouse Explorer, the most radical technology and design advance in the 30-year life of the mouse. With its new optical tracking technology, added buttons and sleek design, the new IntelliMouse is the start of a new era for this humble peripheral.
The most significant improvement is the addition of Microsoft IntelliEye, an innovative new optical tracking technology that makes mouse balls and pads seem as archaic as the dot matrix printer. An optical sensor captures images of the work surface at a rate of 1,500 images per second, and a digital signal processor (DSP) translates changes between the images into on-screen movements.
This technique, called image correlation processing, results in smooth, precise pointer movement. The mouse works on any surface – paper, walls, your jeans – no mouse pad is required. And since the mouse has no moving parts, cleaning is unnecessary; after years of use, the IntelliMouse Explorer will be as responsive and accurate as the day it was purchased.
The significant advances inside the mouse are reflected in its bold new look. Gone is the uniform white or beige of yesterday’s mouse – the IntelliMouse Explorer is housed in a sleek industrial-silver finish and features a glowing red underside and taillight.
The IntelliMouse Explorer also features the popular scrolling and zooming wheel, as well as two additional customizable buttons on the left side of the mouse that can provide effortless Internet navigation and simplify other routine tasks. The mouse also features a neutral-posture ergonomic shape, which positions the hand and forearm in a natural resting position and supports the entire hand.
The Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer is scheduled to be available in September 1999 for an estimated retail price of $74.95. The original IntelliMouse featuring IntelliEye will be available for an estimated retail price of $54.95.