It took the world by storm 40 years ago, but now, after four decades, the demise of the evolutionary computer mouse is very near, predicts a leading researcher.
According to the Gartner analyst, the mouse will be dead in the next three to five years. And the powerful but old device will be taken over by gestural computer mechanisms like touch screens and facial recognition devices.
“The mouse works fine in the desktop environment but for home entertainment or working on a notebook it’s over,” BBC quoted analyst Steve Prentice, as saying.
He told BBC News that his prediction is driven by the efforts of consumer electronics firm which are making products with new interactive interfaces inspired by the world of gaming.
“You’ve got Panasonic showing forward facing video in the home entertainment environment. Instead of using a conventional remote control you hold up your hand and it recognises you have done that,” he said.
“It also recognises your face and that you are you and it will display on your TV screen your menu. You can move your hand to move around and select what you want.
“Sony and Canon and other video and photographic manufacturers are using face recognition that recognises your face in real time. And it recognises even when you smile.”
“You even have emotive systems where you can wear a headset and control a computer by simply thinking and that’s a device set to hit the market in September,” he added.
“This” Prentice said, “is all about using computer power to do things smarter.”
The mouse was invented by Dr Douglas Engelbart while working for the Stanford Research Institute. He never received any royalties for the invention partly because his patent ran out in 1987 before the PC revolution made the mouse indispensable.