2015.04 News: The Zero-Button Mouse

By Peter G. Neumann on the Computer Risks forum:

CUPERTINO, CA, April 1, 2015 -- Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) today announces the ultimate refinement in pointer technology: the zero-button mouse. "We found that the button was confusing users," said Sir Jonathan Ive, Vice President of Design. The zero-button mouse uses a flexible antenna, which Apple calls the tail. In order to left click, the user grabs the mouse by the tail, and swings it to the left. Right clicking is similar, but swinging to the right. Scrolling is accomplished by swinging the mouse towards or away from the user.

The zero-button mouse is available in three collections:
  • Apple Zero Mouse Sport in aluminum
  • Apple Zero Mouse in stainless steel
  • Apple Zero Mouse Edition in 18-carat gold
A white rubber tail is standard, but optional tails are available in black and red leather, titanium mesh, and carbon fiber.

Pricing and Availability: All models and tails are available for purchase starting today, April 1, 2015. Pricing for the Zero Mouse Sport is $34.95, the Zero Mouse is $49.95, and the Zero Mouse Edition is $995.00. The leather tails are $14.95 each, the titanium mesh tail $24.95, and the carbon fiber tail $799.95.

WATCH for this one!! With this innovation, the era of button-down mice seems to be ending (somewhat like button-down shirts?), despite seemingly regressively replacing the one-button, two-button, and three-button mouse.

It is rumored that Microsoft is planning a competing voice-operated no-button mouse, albeit possibly with a built-in optional keyboard for people with small fingers.

Google is expected to compete with its own autonomouse, which can move (autonomousely) without user control — or, if a user is particularly gifted, with perceptive mind control — in either case, proactively anticipating user intent, and automatically avoiding collisions and interference with any other user's mouse.

The potential risks are left as an exercise for the reader.

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