Mouse Full Form | What is Computer Mouse – History, Types, Operation

Mouse Full From – What is a Computer Mouse?

In this article, you will gain knowledge of Mouse Full Form, different types of mouse, history, uses advantages, and disadvantages of the mouse, and many more.

The computer mouse is considered an integral input device for all modern-day computers, but it was not long back when people used to enter the data and commands with the help of a keyboard.

Technology innovations have not only enhanced the industrial working practices but have also largely affected our lifestyle and the way we think, learn, and communicate in our surroundings.

In simple words, technology has made our life seamless. The transformations in computer technology have revolutionized the way we perform our daily tasks making it easy and efficient at the same time.

One such innovation is the Computer mouse that has simplified the computer-user interactions.

Must Read :- What are Digital Computers?

 What is the history of a computer mouse?

There were numerous mechanisms, or we can say technology such as a trackball, light pens, and intelligent pointing devices that were widely used in mid of the 20th century, to track the movement of equipment, aircraft, navy ships on a 2-dimensional plane or radar.

Since these were predominantly meant for defense applications, many of them remained unpatented due to its usage restrictions.

It was in the 1960s when Douglas Engelbart (of Stanford Research Institute) for the very first time conceived the concept of a Computer mouse, which could create a revolution in the computing world.

During a conference on computer graphics in 1961, his mind was continuously reflecting thoughts on making the computer interactions more efficient.

He started envisaging a device that would have two numbers of wheels (one for horizontal and another for vertical movement) traversing on a flat surface to facilitate the movement of a cursor.

It seemed to him that this was similar to the Planimeter just that the wheel in the planimeter helps to measure areas on the map, blueprints, drawings, whereas the wheel functions to plot x-y coordinates for the cursor on a computer screen. Engelbart made a note of this idea for his future reference. 

Later about a year or more, he got approval to set up his research center at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

This was his dream and a vision to create a platform for augmenting human capabilities in solving complex problems.

It is interesting to know that the ‘Mouse’ was a small part of his bigger project aimed at increasing human intelligence.

He was joined by Bill English in 1964 to create a prototype of the first computer mouse.

The initial mouse had the cord attached at the rear and resembled the real mouse (animal) having a tail at the back.

The mouse had a wooden outer shell and button on top, an inbuilt circuit, and two metal wheels fixed in perpendicular directions. The first reporting of the mouse in documents was made in the year 1965.

As mentioned above, there were many pointing gadgets available at that time, but the need was to have a tool to make the cursor movement more efficient.

Engelbart approached NASA in 1966, seeking their support to end the debate and bring on record the most convenient and effective pointing device.

After getting permission, he and his team created some tasks and tested the speed and accuracy of the popular gadgets available off the shelf along with their latest invention.

At the end of the tests, it became evident that the mouse had out-performed as compared to the other devices. 

In 1967, Engelbart filed an application on behalf of SRI for patenting of the Mouse and received the patent in 1970.

The application mentioned the device referring to as x-y position indicator for a display system and not Mouse for the only reason that the former name was more synonymous with the favorable marketing strategies.

At the same time, Engelbart and his team felt essential to devise a companion for the pointing device that would help one hand to input the texts or commands while the other hand is busy using the pointing and clicking device.

After several deliberations, they settled on a keyset of telegraph style having 5 numbers of piano-type keys.

Both the instruments were demonstrated in public by Engelbart in the year 1968, which is now commonly referred to as Mother of all demos.

The 1968 version of the mouse had three buttons and often called the second generation mouse, which was further developed to be known as the ball mouse.

This new invention used a ball instead of the wheel to facilitate a better movement and in multiple directions giving an edge over the earlier mouse versions. 

What are the different developments of the computer mouse?

Like several technologies have undergone a series of advancements since their inception, the mouse has also evolved significantly over the last few decades.

Xerox Company pioneered the use of this technology and designed the first computer by the name Alto, which used a mouse for its Graphical User Interface (GUI).

In 1973, they introduced it in the commercial market, which created a new way of using the computer and simplifying the cursor movement on the screen.

A team in Zurich who had developed a computer by the name of Lilith also adopted this technology and commercialized the product for sale between the years1978 to 1980.

By this time, Xerox had already modernized and launched its Xerox star 8010 computer in 1981.

This was the first personal computer to have a two-button mouse and all the standard technologies such as emails, window-based GUI, folders, Ethernet, etc. as available in the present-day computer.

Many others, including the Apple Lisa computer, used the mouse as a part of their computer, but the tangible benefits remained ambiguous.

In 1982, Logitech exhibited their P4 mouse, which was a first hardware mouse, at a trade show in Las Vegas.

Simultaneously, Microsoft also updated its MS-DOS program by making it compatible with the mouse and launched in the commercial markets in the year 1983.

Macintosh, Atari amongst the other computer manufacturers, also developed the mouse compatible computer system.

By 1988, the optical mouse, which eliminated the ball technology, was a huge success and created a niche in the consumer market.

The collaboration between Apple and Xerox indeed changed our way of interacting with computers, but it was short-lived.

The next decade saw no further developments except some minor modifications in the ergonomics of mouse and better fitting in hand as compared to the earlier square mouse.

The transformation of the mouse has a scroll wheel in the center and the optical technology created a high wave in the market.

It was also essential to lower the production costs to be able to make it deliverable to the crowd.

In 2004, Logitech developed the laser mouse, which was more precise and a favorite amongst the game lovers.

The technology got a push with its advantage of offering speed and accuracy. Today’s mouse comes with advanced processors, and we can also set the sensitivity of the mouse to suit as per our requirements.

One of the developments in mouse technology was the invention of the wireless mouse.

The first wireless mouse was developed by Logitech for Metaphor computer in 1984.

It used the Infrared signals for sending the data to the computer, which did not gain the attention, as the signals required an obstacle-free path between the mouse and computer receiver for its functioning, and this was practically not possible to achieve in all the types of environment. The problem was solved by using Radiofrequency communications.   

What is the Full-Form of Mouse?

It is more convenient to use the word MOUSE, but there are some myths about the existence of its expanded form – Manually Operated User Selection Equipment or Mechanically Operated User Signal Engine.

What are the different operations of a computer mouse?

A mouse is an input device used to control the navigation of the cursor on a computer screen.

The mouse transforms the multi-directional movement of hand into electronic signals, which the pointer uses to replicate its movement on the screen.

Apart from managing the cursor movement, the mouse also helps to perform other activities by clicking the buttons or scrolling the center wheel in some specified sequence or any given number of times.

We shall look into the five basic operations performed by mouse however, some mouse has separate buttons that can be programmed to carry out any function.

  • <Click> – You can select an item or choose a menu by moving the cursor to it and clicking the left button of the mouse.
  • <Double-Click> – You can directly open/close an item without opening the menu. Simply point the cursor to an item and double-click the left button.
  • <Click and Drag> – You can move an item by dragging it. To move an item, place the pointer to an item, click it and hold the left button. Now drag the item by moving it to the required location and finally drop it by releasing the left button.
  • <Right-Click> – You can click the right button on the mouse to open a drop-down menu to enable select any option such as Copy, Paste, Rename, New folder, etc… The menu is particular to your operations. You can point at the item and right-click the mouse button.
  • <Scroll wheel> – Scroll wheel helps in moving the file in an upward and downward direction. 

What are the different types of computer mouse?

The different types of the mouse are as mentioned below:-

Mechanical mice

Bill English, an employer at Xerox PARC, developed the Mechanical mice in 1972. It is a type of mouse that replaced the outer wheels on the backside with a ball rotating in any direction.

Along with the ball, the mouse has two rotating rollers placed perpendicular to each other, detecting the motion of the mouse.

The mouse sends the signals produced by its two optical sensors to the computer through cables.

After receiving the signals, system software converts them into the motion, thereby moving the cursor on the computer screen. 

Optical and Laser mice

The optical mouse replaced has completely replaced the use of a mechanical mouse.

An optical mouse uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a light source and a series of photodiodes as a light detector to detect the movement of a mouse on a relative surface.

The modern-day optical mice can detect the movement on any surface except polished stone.

The Laser mouse uses coherent or laser diodes which offer better precision and resolution and improving the performance on most of the light reflecting mirror surfaces.

Inertial or gyroscopic mice

Inertial or gyroscopic mice are also known as air mice as it does not require any surface to function.

The inertial mice use a tuning fork or various two-dimensional or three-dimensional accelerometers to produce output signals that transmit data to the computer for determining the cursor movement on the screen.

3D mice

3D mice also referred to as flying mice, bats, or wands. They use ultrasound for their operations and are specific for movement in three-dimensional environments.

The main uses are in the field of gaming consoles, CAD designing, 3D modeling, etc.

Tactile mice

Logitech introduced the tactile mice in the year 2000 to enable the blinds to access the computer information.

Tactile mouse causes vibration with the help of a small actuator. These mice can enhance the user-interface with a 3D touch technology.

For example, they give motions or vibrations when a window boundary is crossed. 


Tablet digitizers are often used with additions known as pucks. They are tools that depend on total positioning.

They are sometimes designed or configured to work like a mouse and are also occasionally shown as mice.

Ergonomic mice

Ergonomic is synonymous with comfort. Hence this type of mouse gives optimal relief and avoids damage to body parts such as carpal tunnel syndrome (a disorder that affects the body joints or injuries to part of the musculoskeletal or nervous system due to vibrations or sitting in the same position for long periods).

It is specially designed in a manner that naturally fits the hand movement and increases comfort.

Gaming mice

As the name suggests, they are mainly used for playing games on the computer. They have a different arrangement of buttons and controls and are designed differently than the regular mouse.

They have decorative lightings and additional buttons that can be used to open a program or to work instead of a combination of keys.

The buttons can also change the sensitivity of the mouse in case of real-time strategy games.

Gaming mice also takes care of the ergonomic requirements and have adjustable features to avoid injuries.

Some other types of mouse include Foot mouse, Wheel mouse, J mouse, joystick, Trackball mouse. 

How is the connectivity of a computer mouse?

With the development in mouse technology, so has the end connectors at the end of the thin cable coming out of the mouse have changed drastically, from the early mouse using RS-232C, PS/2, ADB to the modern-day mouse connected via USB port.

Usually, end connectors are how the mouse is connected to the computer and facilitates the transmission of data into the computer.

What are the different alternatives for a computer mouse?

The concept of the mouse has been widely adapted in laptops to substitute the mouse with an inbuilt mouse pad, and the smartphones or touch screen gadgets have a touchpad to perform the actions using finger movement on the screen.

What is the measurement of the speed of a computer mouse?

The speed of the computer mouse, along with its movement in both directions is measured in Mickey.

The ratio of the number of pixels moved by a cursor on a computer screen and the distance moved by the mouse on a mouse pad will determine the speed of the computer mouse.

The Mickey counts measure the horizontal and vertical directional movement of the mouse.

One unit of Mickey = 1/200th of an inch.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a computer mouse?

The mouse serves as an interface for the PC based games and console for video games too.


  • It is mostly used with the desktop computer and offers flexibility in movement and better GUI.
  • Different ranges of models are available in the market, which gives an option to choose depending on an individual requirement.
  • It is a low cost, easy to carry, and requires very little space.


  • It requires a flat surface for it to operate.
  • It requires regular maintenance and also sensitive to dust.
  • It cannot help to input the text command to the computer.
  • Our hand can pain with the prolonged use of the computer mouse.

It is difficult to envisage a world where the mouse did not have its existence.

Although it has been replaced by touch screens and mouse pads in laptops and smartphones, the computer mouse had created a revolution in the way we used the computer and connected us to the world.

The computer mouse remains an efficient pointing device for its speed and accuracy.

We would be struggling with the keyboards to inputs the commands if the mouse was not invented.

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