Innovations in voice and speech technologies may make the mouse obsolete, but we've seen plenty of innovations in the way we use our hand to provide input for our PCs. Here's a bunch of our favorites, as well as a look at the latest mice that make us happy.
From the PS/2 port to wired USB, mice eventually cut the cord (or tail perhaps?), moving to wireless technologies (including Bluetooth). The receivers are so small now that you might forget they're attached.
The onset of carpal tunnel syndrome due to long hours of touching, moving and clicking brought about more comfortable mice that fit the curvature of our hands.
The growth of notebook use by road warriors meant more people wanted a smaller mouse instead of using the usually awful trackpad or weird notebook "nub". Mice makers delivered.
Remember the little ball on the bottom of the mouse? Remember the dust that would collect inside it? We do too, and we're glad that optical and laser technology eliminated that cleaning task.
The popularity of first-person shooter computer games gave rise to mice that added extra buttons to give your thumb, pinky and other fingers a workout, such as switching weapons or lobbing a grenade.
USB innovations allowed mice to do more than just provide input. Storage improvements let you keep your data on the mouse now, especially great for notebooks that have limited USB slots.
Most of us use our right hand for the mouse, but for those lefties out there, mice makers didn’t forget you either.
Advancing slides got a lot better once we could use our mouse to go forward or back, instead of squinting at the keyboard to see where the arrow button was.
Concerned about security? Have your users log in via this integrated fingerprint scanner and mouse combination. While biometrics have been integrated into notebooks, we still liked seeing this on a mouse.
Lots of mice-haters swear by this alternative input method, but these devices remind us mostly of spending lots of quarters in the '80s.