Computer Mice: The Work of Technical Genius
Computer mice have become a staple of households around the world. They are agents of productivity for millions around the world, and computers wouldn’t be much use without them. But have you ever wondered how they work? Well, worry not, because this article aims to explain just that!
The first type of computer mouse that came to life was the optical-mechanical mouse (the optomechanical mouse or simply the ball mouse). Although they’re now obsolete, they worked with the help of balls attached to the body surface. There were rollers connected to the ball that moved when it rolled. These rollers had spokes that ‘broke’ light and the number of times a beam of light used these ‘breaks’ helped calculate how much the mouse moved.
The newly established main mice are also a type of optical mice. They work by rapidly clicking pictures, and then comparing them to previous ones using patented algorithms. This information is then converted into coordinates.
A few other types are vertical mice – normal mice, just tilted to the side for a better grip for some, and trackballs – which work the same as optomechanical mice, but in the upside-down orientation. The trackball is turned by hand instead of moving another object to roll it, and rollers connected to it generate coordinates. The only major difference between these is the absence of light.
The small buttons are on switches to detect clicking, and the scroll wheel is mounted on a switch, helping the device detect both clicking and rotation. Rotation can be detected in a variety of ways such as using light. Who knew this small device would be packed with such technical genius.
Anda Kashyap, 6