Everything you need to know about computer mouse history



What is a computer mouse?

A computer mouse is a piece of hardware that’s long been used in most desktop computers. When computers became more mainstream about a decade or so ago, it became common practice to have a desktop computer with a mouse along with a keyboard. It has improved a lot over the period of time.

What is the history of the computer mouse?

How did it all start? Who first invented the mouse?

Alan E. Brandt created the computer mouse in the 1960s at the MIT Lab. Initially, it was intended for lab scientists to use to control their equipment to aid them in their studies. Later, it evolved into an essential input device for computer operators.

Mouse on wheels

Mouse on wheel

Doug Engelbart drew his concepts for a computer mouse in 1963. He created rolling wheels, which were inspired by planimeters, mechanical area-measuring devices.

 Rolling on balls

Later in 1968, the German manufacturer Telefunken produced a mouse with a ball instead of wheels, which provided a far better user experience. It consists of a basic rolling ball with wheels on two sides that, when moved on the surface, moves a pointer for on-screen navigation along the x and y axes; it was revolutionary and quickly became an essential input device for computer operators.

Mouse on balls

Mouse on balls

It consists of a basic rolling ball with wheels on two sides that, when moved on the surface, moves a pointer for on-screen navigation along the x and y axes; it was revolutionary and quickly became an essential input device for computer operators. This innovation greatly aided computer users in doing their jobs with ease, but it has some drawbacks: while used, it collects dirt from its surroundings, causing issues with its operations. Users must clean it as necessary to get it operating again.

Tracking with ray

Later, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) were invented, which can detect motion with light and therefore replaced the ball. These optical mice can only detect motion on pre-printed mouse pads; but, as technology advanced, they were able to detect motion on surfaces other than purpose-built mouse pads.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Mouse

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Mouse

The mouse was invented by Robert S. Cherry and Lisa M. Williams, both of whom worked at the Xerox Microelectronics Center. These mice rapidly became famous owing to the ease with which they function; people were intrigued by this fantastic piece of technology. However, this optical mouse has limits; while it was vastly improved over its predecessor, it still had disadvantages, such as the inability to work effectively on shiny surfaces. It also has precise accuracy problems.

 A different light

Sun Microsystems developed laser mice that significantly addressed the aforementioned issue. They used diodes that emit lasers, which not only provided great resolution but also increased cursor accuracy. Furthermore, it may be used on opaque surfaces. Later, further changes were done to make it a surface-independent mouse.

Laser Mouse

Laser mouse

Removing the Mouse Tail

What else could be done with it? It appears that this was the pinnacle, but one more crucial technology was still to be included by making it wireless.
The wireless capability was initially developed in 1984 by David Liddle and Donald Massaro, who worked as engineers at Xerox PARC. At the time, infrared technology was applied, and it functioned effectively. However, there was a limitation: to operate correctly, a clear line of sight was required between signal transmitter and receiver, which severely limited mouse movement within the provided range and angle.

Wireless Mouse

Wireless Mouse

This obstacle was overcome by introducing radio signals like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These micro receiver technologies are gaining popularity, allowing for greater flexibility in using a mouse with portable devices.

How did the computer mouse get its name?

Well, the image below explains how this component of the gadget earned its name. If you’re still perplexed, here’s an explanation. It was given its name because of its similarity to a rodent/mouse. It has a tail, much like a mouse, that is attached to a body that resembles a mammal mouse or the closest thing you can conceive of.

How mouse got it's name

How mouse got its name

So what was the original name of a mouse?

Who invented the word mouse for it?

Originally it was named “X-Y position indicator,” it could place the pointer on the screen according to the x and y axes.

In 1964, Bill English and Douglas Engelbart created this contraption, which consisted of two perpendicular wheels encased in a wooden box.

Nobody knows who gave it the term “mouse,” but the name was more appropriate, simpler to relate to, and quickly became popular as it became extensively utilised with personal computers on a large scale.

Why use a computer mouse?

Or what are the advantages of using a mouse?

The computer mouse plays a critical part in the operation of computers. Assume you wish to conduct an Internet search. To locate what you’re looking for, you must repeatedly move your hand from one button to another. This might be an arduous and exhausting job.

Here’s when a mouse comes in useful. It is a simple gadget that, when linked to its receiver and manipulated precisely, may enable exact cursor manipulation on the screen.

What is the basic use of a computer mouse?

What are the functions of a mouse?

The following are some of the most important features of a computer mouse. These fundamental duties are often performed by users in general, whoever utilizes them.

  • Using the mouse to point to and select items on the screen.
  • It may be used for drag-and-drop operations.
  • By clicking, you may start applications, make numerous selections, and access files.
  • Scroll the program window vertically and horizontally.

The modern mouse can do more than the aforementioned functions and have additional buttons. These mice with extra buttons are mostly used for gaming or as special-purpose construction controls.

Continue reading to learn about the various varieties of mice and the improved capabilities they provide.

What are the main parts of a mouse?

The mouse has five main elements with which a user interacts the most.

  • Mouse right button
  • Mouse left button
  • Mouse scroll wheel
  • Computer mouse body
  • Sensors

There are more elements that, when put together, form a functional device, but we only discuss those that are required for a user since you must understand what each part is and how it functions.

Parts of Computer Mouse

Parts of Computer Mouse

  1. Left Mouse Button 
    This is the most frequently used button on any mouse ever built, and it is typically pressed with the index finger. A single click is used to select or execute a command; many applications require a double click to perform a function; when double-clicked at a specific interval between the two clicks, the desired outcome is produced.
  2. Right Mouse Button
    When the right mouse button is pressed, it performs an important function; however, the functions of the right mouse button may differ depending on the application. Most of the time, it generates additional options or a related list of commands from which to choose. When one of the instructions is selected, it is passed to the corresponding application.
  3. Mouse Scroll Wheel
    A scroll wheel on a computer mouse allows a user to move around within an application. Previously, the mouse wheel had limited capabilities, but over time, it has gained more functions, which are listed below.
  • Scroll Up and Down, let say if a document has multiple pages you just need to move the wheel accordingly to move around the document
  • Scroll Left and Right, this feature is not common in computer mice on the market because you rarely need to scroll left or right; instead, you move pages vertically. To use it, press the wheel and lean it to the side you want to scroll.
  • Clickable Scroll Wheel, also known as the third button on your mouse, is a feature that not all mice have. There are several applications for this wheel button. For example, instead of pressing the left button to click on a link on a webpage, you can press the scroll wheel once and the link will appear in a new tab on the web browser or in a new tab on the web browser. You can also close a tab by clicking on it once with the scroll wheel button.

4. Mouse Sensors/Motion Detection

To send a signal to a computer, a mouse must be moved against the surface to locate its coordinate position on the screen. The following are some of the methods that computer mice use to retrieve a location on the screen.

  • Trackball, it’s an old almost obsolete method used for tracking purposes, a ball is placed inside the body of the mouse, which when moved through the surface data is transmitted to the CPU to locate the position.
Trackball based Computer Mouse

Trackball based Computer Mouse

  • Optical or laser mouse sensors are the technologies used nowadays to track the position of the mouse on the screen. It tracks mouse movements using optical sensors, which is far more precise than a trackball.

What are the different types of mouse connectors?

How is a mouse attached to a computer?

A mouse can be linked to a computer/laptop in a variety of methods, which are listed below.

  • Mouse with Serial Port
    A computer’s serial port might be used to connect a mouse. Data is transmitted and received bit by bit using this interface. It has a nine-pin male port on the computer’s motherboard and a female port on the mouse.
Mouse with Serial Port

Mouse with Serial Port

  • Bus Mouse
    An ISA add-in card may be used to connect this sort of computer mouse to a PC through a purpose-built bus interface. These mice were popular when used with IBM compatible computers, however, they were quickly surpassed by PS/2 mice.
Bus card based Mouse

Bus card-based Mouse

  • PS/2 connector
    These mice are attached to PS/2 ports, which are typically green in colour and were introduced by IBM. This connection, designed in 1987, is a 6 pin mini-din connector, type female.
PS/2 connector

PS/2 connector

  • USB Mouse

This port was developed in the 1990s and quickly became popular since it could connect any peripheral device, including a mouse, and it could also power the attached item that required power connections, such as a keyboard, digital cameras, removable discs, and so on.

USB Mouse

USB Mouse

  • Wireless Mouse

As the name indicates, these mice do not require any wires for communication; instead, they rely on RF (Radiofrequency) or Bluetooth technology. To receive signals from a wireless mouse, a USB dongle is linked to a PC to maintain connectivity.

Wireless Mouse with Dongle - Computer mouse

Wireless Mouse with Dongle



Wired Mouse

A wired mouse, as the name suggests, is one that has a wire connecting it to a computer or laptop. It can now be linked to smart consoles/TVs and other devices, making it a very useful gadget.

The original mouse developed utilized wire to transfer data, however, an attempt was made to make it cordless in 1984, but owing to technological limitations at the time, the notion was discontinued at the time or did not gain user approval.

Wired mice have utilized a number of connections to connect to computers and laptops over the years, including:

  • Bus connection that made use of an ISA add-in card
  • Serial interfaces
  • PS/2 interfaces
  • USB port

Because of the range of capabilities they give in terms of wired mice, USB ports are now extensively utilised and have superseded all prior forms of connections.

Are wired mice better?

Do people still use wired mice?

When RF and Bluetooth were introduced into wireless mice, they quickly became popular. Despite the convenience that wireless mice provide, wired mice remain popular and in demand. Gamers, in particular, prefer mice with a wired USB connection

Among the many reasons they are still adored are:

  • Dependable and uninterruptible connection
  • Less input latency
  • Speedy transfer of input
  • Precise accuracy of pointer/cursor

Why do gamers use wired mice?

Wired mice are preferred by gamers for a variety of reasons. Despite the fact that wireless mice have been shown to be useful for gaming. Some mice, in my opinion, are superior to others. In the end, whether it’s wired or wireless, the best mouse is just a mouse.

Gamers are one of the reasons wired mice exist and are popular. Gamers spend a lot of money on gaming equipment. So why do they need to utilize wired mice rather than wireless mice? After all, wireless mice don’t take up much space, and you may play the game with either a wired or wireless mouse.

If you ask a gamer why they prefer a wired mouse, the first argument they give is that they never want any interruption or disconnection between their mouse and computer/laptop, and a wired mouse assures this because when you are in a game and competing, you don’t want to lose control.

Second, due to the direct connection between the devices, connected mice have little to no latency when compared to wireless mice. A more consistent connection guarantees that data is transmitted and received without interruption.

Finally, higher accuracy is cited as a benefit of the wired mouse, which I feel is more of a psychological perception. In other words, when compared to wired mice, wireless mice have been shown to be the greatest accuracy gadget.

Wireless Mouse

A wireless mouse is a type of sophisticated mouse that allows you to use it without the necessity of a cable as it connects wirelessly to your computer. You don’t have to worry about the cable and cable clutter it could cause.

A mouse is a key to any online life and for good reason. And there are also a lot of great reasons to choose a wireless mouse instead of a wired one.

Which technology is used in wireless mouse for connection?

Wireless mouse uses the wireless medium to transfer data wirelessly. It’s the same technology that is used in mice is also used in a variety of gadgets nowadays. The following lists the medium used to transfer data from a mouse to a computer.

  • Infrared

This is a wireless communication medium that uses an infrared signal to send data between the mouse and the computer and requires the equipment to be near together with a clear line of sight. They are no longer used with wireless mice due to their poor performance and discomfort.

  • Radio Frequency

The radiofrequency (RF) receiver is typically used and linked to a computer. It receives RF signals from the mouse, decodes them, and processes them to the computer as normal instruction. There are two ways a computer can get a signal either with a built-in receiver or an externally attached dongle.

There are two different mediums of connecting which are 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth. Both have their own characteristics.

  1.  2.4 GHz

A Wireless mouse that involves RF to interact with the computer using a 2.4 GHz signal is able to operate at an acceptable distance, speed, and cost. Initially, mice operated on a 27 Mhz frequency with a restricted range. Newer mice have a range of 100 to 150 feet and operate at 2.4 GHz. These frequencies are generally stable, and they usually produce little or no interference in a business or residential setting.

2.  Bluetooth 

Bluetooth utilizes 2.4 gigahertz frequencies, comparable to 802.11b and 802.11g. However, adaptive frequency hopping software is used to choose frequencies with no or minimal interference.

Home equipment like microwave ovens and cordless telephones can sometimes cause interference with 802.11b and g. Bluetooth has a decent range, around 33 feet in most scenarios.

Is a wireless mouse worth it?

The question of whether wireless mice are better than wired mice has been a topic of debate for years. It’s a question that has been around for a long time, and it has become a more heated debate in recent years. Wireless mice can be far more convenient than tethered mice. To determine which mouse is best for you, you must first define your goals as a user.

Below I have mentioned some advantages of using a wireless mouse over a wired mouse.

  • Wireless mice allow you to walk away from the screen at a reasonable distance. In other words, it gives you the liberty to operate a receiving device from a fair distance, you no longer have to confine yourself to the length of a corded mouse to do so.
  • Because there are no cables, your desk looks neater, and you don’t have to deal with the wire while working or cleaning.
  • A cordless mouse is also easier to transport. It’s small enough to slip into your pocket. or luggage without being entangled in the wire It is the first option for minimalists.
  • Nowadays, many devices allow a mouse to operate such as tablets, Smart TV and others. For instance, you could use it on TV from your couch and switch to use it for the computer, you don’t have to plug wires again and again. Simply you just switch between them.

Are wireless mice faster than wired?

There are several premium wireless mice that are very close to wired mice, in terms of performance, usually, gamers and graphic designers look deeply into certain specs before they buy them. As the technology is improving rapidly the difference of performance factor is fading away between wired and wireless mice. However, both have some limitations which are present in them inherently.

What is the difference between wired and wireless mice?

If you use your computer for more than just surfing the web, you may be curious about the difference between wired and wireless mice. Which one should you choose? Or maybe you’re just curious how they compare to one another; let’s have a peek at the differences here.

To understand how they differ and what their strong and weak features are, we must thoroughly examine them so that you may pick between them. Which is best suited for you, the wired or wireless mouse? The following section examines the differences between the two and compares them from various angles.

Wired vs Wireless Mice

Wired mouse Wireless mouse
Have a constant power supply through the attached wire. Use batteries as a source of power to operate. 
No or less likely to get external interference in data communication. Prone to interference could be due to disruption in radiofrequency.
Optimal performance almost no or negligible lag Performance-wise awesome for normal use but with some possibility of minor lag.

Users are used to utilizing both wireless and wired mice as input devices. Wired mice are the most common type of mouse, however, wireless mice have gained popularity due to the freedom they provide. Below I have discussed the key differences in detail.

  • Power Supply

A wired mouse is powered by a wire attached to the front of the mouse that is plugged into a computer, laptop, or any other device to which it can be connected to operate. There are various connectors that may be used to connect a mouse in order to obtain power and data communication. A conventional wired mouse requires about 0.5 watts (5 V/100 mA), however, there are several contemporary variants with extra features that require a bit more power to operate.

A cordless mouse, on the other hand, requires batteries that are housed within the mouse. These batteries allow the mouse to function. They, of course, run out whenever the stored power is depleted. In general, two types of batteries are used in wireless mice.

Types of mouse batteries:

  • Disposable Batteries
    AA or AAA batteries are typically used in mice, depending on the mouse’s available option. In our daily lives, we need these types of batteries for things like TV remotes and so on. They have a long life and can survive for months.
  • Rechargeable Batteries
    Once the stored power has been consumed or drained, these batteries can be recharged. There are several types of rechargeable batteries, but the ones used with mice fall into two categories.i) AA or AAA batteries with the additional charging capability to recharge when the power is depleted. To charge them, you usually remove them from usage and place them in a charging device. ii) Lithium Polymer batteries, such as those found in smartphones, are light and tiny, and they provide long-lasting energy while being regulated by cheap and readily available charging circuits. A lithium-ion mouse is therefore inexpensive and widely available, and it can be recharged by plugging it into a USB port. It can also be used while charging and appears much like a regular wired mouse.


  • Interference

Interference is nearly impossible in wired mice until the cable is damaged, and it provides smooth connectivity and data exchange between the mouse and associated device, which is why many gamers choose these mice.

However, because wireless mice rely on RF to communicate data to the associated device, interference may occur. Working in a traditional office environment or at home is less likely to result in interference. However, if you are in an environment where RF can be affected, you could lose connection or feel interruption between the devices.

  • Mouse Lag

The cause of mouse LAG is a disruption in connectivity on the mouse side. This type of problem is less likely to occur in a wired mouse unless the wire is defective or the port to which it’s connected is not functioning properly.

This issue is more frequently or perhaps was observed with early wireless mice, and the reasons could be that RF interference with other devices signals and other possible reasons could be you are operating a mouse from a distance where signals are weakening or wireless mouse batteries are running short on power and as a result signaling gets weaker.

Is a wired or wireless mouse better for gaming?

Given all the above variables, making a selection based on your needs is always best. Only a user knows which is better than the other.

But most gamers prefer wired mice, there are many reasons for it. One of the major reasons is that early wireless mice had performance issues when you need pinpoint precision and better response time but wireless technology and techniques had been improving quite rapidly so it’s more of a physiological perception built over time.

The second reason gamers prefer wired mice is that wireless mice are prone to losing connection owing to interference in wireless data communication, but wired mice are less likely to do so. Gamers cannot afford it because they are constantly on the edge of their seats when playing the game.

Short Answer

If you ask me, I believe that today’s wireless technology has shrunk the performance gap to the point where it is almost inconsequential. There are several high-end wireless mice on the market that equal the performance of a wired mouse. But wired mice are still favorite and loved by gamers, in particular.