This is a limited edition print with only 250 copies in production.
Lapson et al, July 19, 1982.
In 1979, Apple was planning a business computer and arranged a visit with Xerox Parc research center to view some of their experimental technology. It was there they discovered the mouse, invented by Douglas Engelbart while he was working at SRI International.
One of the biggest problems was that the three button Xerox mouse cost over US$400 to build, which was not practical for a consumer-based personal computer. Apple commissioned Hovey-Kelley Design (which later became IDEO) to assist them with the mouse design, which had to be redesigned to cost US$25 instead of US$400. Hundreds of prototypes later, Apple settled on a single button mouse, roughly the size of a deck of cards which can be seen in this patent print.
This patent titled 'Cursor Control Device for use with Display Systems' was filed on the 19th of July, 1982. Included with the Lisa system in 1983, this mouse was unique in that it used a steel ball, instead of the usual rubber found in subsequent and modern mice. It connected to the computer by means of a standard DE-9 and unique squeeze-release connector.
It was this mouse that established Apple's mouse as a one-button device for over 20 years. Apple used the exact same internal components in a different housing for the Macintosh mouse a few years later.
The basic approach—pairing a freely-rolling ball with a optoelectronic system—was used by generations of mice that followed, changing only incrementally until optical mice did away with trackballs altogether. A brilliant invention that is captured in all its glory in this limited edition patent print.
Want to know more about what a patent is, we have created a description page here.
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