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Apple Gets Into The Mouse Game


Around the same period, Steve Jobs was also looking for an innovative input system for his forthcoming Apple systems, and considered the mouse to be just it. For this reason, he commissioned design firm Hovey-Kelley to create an inexpensive, mass-producible and quite reliable mouse.

The “ball mouse” and Xerox

Although it was Engelbart who first developed the mouse, his former colleague, Bill English, was the one who took forward its development. Hence, while working in 1972 for Xerox in its already famous Palo Alto Research Park, English and Jack Hawley refined the design of Engelbart's mouse and added some interesting new features, the most important being the replacement of the two gear-system with a small metal ball, pressed against metallic rollers for tracking the movement. Another important innovation is related to the improvement of the interaction system with the computer, which now does not require anymore an analog-to-digital converter, instead sending digital positional information directly to the computer.