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The History of the Computer Mouse

The computer mouse was invented twice. Doug Engelbart conceived his idea for a computer mouse in 1961 and rolled out his first design in 1963. It was inspired by a planimeter and used rolling, knife-edge wheels. Engineers at Germany’s Telefunken also invented a mouse in the mid-1960s. Their version was first described in 1968 and used a rolling ball, which set the standard for decades to come. Bill English developed Xerox PARC’s first mouse in the early 1970s; it used a rolling-ball design. Shortly after its founding, Logitech began to sell a rolling-ball mouse designed by André Guignard. However, the rolling ball design wasn’t the only mouse in the game. The first trackball mouse was likely the DATAR trackball. Depraz sold a three-button mouse. There have even been computer mice that aren’t operated by the hands, making them ideal for those with hand or arm problems. These include the Bili foot mouse with its programmable pedal and the Jouse Sip Puff mouse system, which allows users to move a joystick and click using inhalations and exhalations. Today, there are many variations of the computer mouse on the market, and they all have different shapes, numbers of buttons, internal mechanisms, and aesthetics.

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