Art & Desgin

Microsoft Files Patent For Bendy Mouse That’s Easier To Pack And Carry Around

Image via Microsoft / PatentScope

As compact as the computer mouse is, it still takes up extra space in your bag. Tech companies have been looking for ways to work around this unyielding gadget that’s stayed relatively unchanged for decades. For instance, Apple recently filed a patent for a keyboard with a removable key that doubles as a mouse.

Microsoft, on the other hand, still has its sights on the conventional PC mouse. According to an international patent filing discovered by WindowsUnited, it’s considering a foldable wireless mouse, adding to the industry’s lineup of flexible devices that have emerged of late.

The company describes in the document—published on November 4 in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s PatentScope database—how computer mice can be “too bulky or inconvenient to carry around” as an accessory for a computing device. While miniature designs are pretty common these days, they still “lack an ergonomic design and may be uncomfortable to use,” says Microsoft.

Ars Technica notes that the bendy mouse design Microsoft has in mind bears similarities with its Surface Arc mouse, which is arched and can be flattened for portability. What sets the patent apart is its description of a “deformable body” tha allows the mouse to folded in half.

Microsoft’s envisioned foldable mouse. Image via Microsoft / PatentScope

The Microsoft Surface Arc mouse, which can be flattened but not folded. Image via Microsoft / Amazon

Microsoft also envisions an “expandable shell” to be placed atop the flexible body.

Image via Microsoft / PatentScope

Like the Surface Arc mouse, this design doesn’t have separate click buttons or a scroll wheel. Instead, Microsoft imagines it with internal “tactile input and motion tracking data.”

Image via Microsoft / PatentScope

Since this is just a patent, though, there’s no guarantee that the product will make it to market. If bringing out a computer mouse seems too cumbersome, your laptop’s trackpad would have to do for now.

[via Ars Technica and WindowsUnited, images via various sources]

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