Fascinated by your computer or a laptop and even the Internet for they offer you entire new world but ever given a thought to the accessory which allows you use the computer or arrive at your desired location on the computer screen? Yes, the mouse without which a simple navigation to a point on the computer screen could be simply impossible. It’s time you are briefed on how the mouse was invented and for what purpose.
The computer mouse was invented at Augmentation Research Center – ARC, a laboratory set up by Douglas Engelbart , an electrical engineer at SRI International. He and his team were involved in developing various screen selecting techniques and interfaces. The mouse was one amongst the many which included hypertext, collaborative tools, bitmapped screens along with the mouse.
First designed in 1960s, the mouse had three buttons. The earliest mouse comprised of a wooden block on wheel with a long wire sticking out at the rear…similar to that of a tail.
Also, around that time Douglas Engelbart and Bill English, his lead engineer was involved in testing pointing gadgets and choosing the most suitable one for their use. On using the mouse on various counts, they found it to be very accurate and suitable for their purpose. This encouraged them to refine it even further. During this refinement stage, one of the members of the team called it the mouse and everyone followed suit. In reality, nobody actually can be credited with naming it the mouse.
In a special report published by them on screen-selection techniques developed by them, it was the mouse which received a positive response. The patent for the mouse was filed by SRI in 1967 under its name “x,y position indicator for a display system,” which was then awarded in 1970. From ARC laboratory at the SRI, the mouse proceeded to Xeorx PARC and then to Apple, post which it gained popularity and is used even today, though in a modified look and feel.
Douglas Engelbart was an inventor par excellence and his contributions to the society have been well acknowledged by awarding him with the Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award, Lemelson-MIT Prize, Turing Award and National Medal of Technology, the United States’ highest technology award to name a few.
Paying glowing tributes to Douglas Engelbart who passed away on July 2nd 2013, we truly thank him and his team for inventing many useful human/computer interfaces.