When Was the Computer Mouse Invented?

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Updated December 5, 2022

The computer mouse has been around for a long time. Because of its long history, many different adaptations and features have developed over time. So, to understand which computer mouse is best for you, knowing where and how it came about is an excellent place to begin. If you’ve ever wondered when the computer mouse was invented, keep reading because we’ll discuss it below.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The idea for the computer mouse originated in the early 1960s by Scientists Doug Engelbart and Billy English at Stanford University.
  • Engelbart and English’s mouse design was first demoed in 1970; it used a trackball and wheels that formed an “X-Y Position indicator.”
  • Steve Jobs used a design he procured from Xerox to build and market the first mass-used computer mouse in 1983.

And for more mouse-related content, you can read up on our resource materials, such as how to connect a mouse to a computer. We also have guides explaining specific devices, like an LG LSM 100 mouse scanner review.

Insider Tip

For those prioritizing cursor speed and sensitivity, purchase a laser mouse instead of one with an optical sensor.

What Year Was the Computer Mouse Invented

So what is a mouse, and when were they invented? Simply put, a mouse s a device used to control a computer. The shape, size, and control method might take many forms, but they exist so users can navigate a computer screen.

The original mouse is often traced to Douglas Engelbart and Bill English, who worked at the Stanford University Research Institute (SRI International). They began developing the design as early as 1963. However, it wasn’t until 1968 that Engelbart demonstrated their invention; the mouse was finally patented in 1970.

The original design was chunky, made of wood, with one button on the top. Its design incorporated a trackball, called a “Position Indicator,” at the bottom of the mouse. The trackball mouse that moved two internal tracking wheels, each controlling the X and Y axis, helped track the spacial movement and control where the cursor moved.

This trackball model was used with the first computers. The mouse design stuck, and many of the same principles are still used in mice with personal computers today. However, Engelbart and English’s version also had many design issues.

The first mouse used en masse was the design used with the Apple Lisa computer in 1983. Steve Jobs bought mouse prototypes developed by Xerox to build a more user-friendly, one-button mouse designed for personal computing.

Warning

Certain mice can be hard on a user’s wrists. Using a mouse for too long in the wrong position increases the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you read this and want to know more about specific mouse options, we have another article explaining what a trackball mouse is and how it works.

STAT: The original mouse cost around $300. (source)

When Was the Computer Mouse Invented FAQs

Where did computer mice get their name?

The mouse got its name because the design resembled a small rodent, with the cord coming out of the small box as its tail.

What is an ergonomic mouse?

An ergonomic mouse is a device designed specifically to enhance comfort and productivity. Ergonomic mice usually have features and are shaped so that the hand rests in a more natural position.

When was the first keyboard invented?

Although the QWERTY keyboard was invented for typewriters back in the late 1800s, the first computer keyboard came out in 1964 by computer scientists at the Michigan Institute of Technology.
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