Details of Microsoft's mystery hardware unveiled

Neowin reported earlier this month that Microsoft has been teasing its users with images of an unknown device, that is until a German website [Translate] unveiled images of the device.

The interesting Arc Touch Mouse has some cool features, including a bendable surface to conform to the users hand. The mouse will come with three standard left, right and middle click buttons. The mouse will be able to track on any surface, using BlueTrack sensor technology. The mouse is connected by a 2.4-GHz nano-transceiver, an on and off switch and features a battery status indicator to alert you when you need to change your battery.

The mouse is the result of a Microsoft Research program dubbed "Mouse 2.0". The project detailed different designs for a prototype multi-touch mouse and one of the prototypes looks similar to the current Microsoft Arc Mouse. Microsoft officials published a research PDF paper in October 2009 which contained pictures of a possible multi touch mouse. Microsoft's hardware twitter account tweeted two different pictures over the past week (see below).

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is rumored to retail for $69.95 USD this September.

Thanks to Mephistopheles for the news tip!

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65 Comments

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Previous rumors stated the mouse wouldn't have multi-touch support at its launch. Is this still the case?

Awesome physical design. If the side is touch/gesture enabled, I can see that supporting Forward/Back gestures. Scrolling looks self explanatory. It will be interesting to see how it supports rotation gesture.

The mouse is connected by a 2.4-GHz nano-transceiver, an on and off switch and features a battery status indicator to alert you when you need to change your battery.

I do hope you mean charge the battery do you? These days, mouse without a rechargeable li-ion battery shouldn't exist, both for performance, ease of use, realibility, economics and environment...

Nodiaque said,

I do hope you mean charge the battery do you? These days, mouse without a rechargeable li-ion battery shouldn't exist, both for performance, ease of use, realibility, economics and environment...

The original Arc used AAA batteries... No charging station or anything. With that said, they last for freaking ever. I get a good 4 or 5 months out of batteries.

M_Lyons10 said,

The original Arc used AAA batteries... No charging station or anything. With that said, they last for freaking ever. I get a good 4 or 5 months out of batteries.

Very true. On top of that, just buy rechargeables. The new energizer one charges four batteries in 15 minutes. It's a lifesaver if you have multiple game systems.

I'm going to be buying a mouse to replace my aging MX1000 here in a few months, I've had my eye on a Logitech Performance MX but I will def have to check this out.

Maybe I should wait with getting a new mouse, if I can live with this degrading scroll wheel long enough that is, but they will have to show a way to go back and forth between pages in a browser...

And I am not sure if i could ever get used to a mouse that do not have anything equivalent of Logitechs fast scroll wheels. Hmm

TechDudeGeorge said,
Hmm. If this comes out a good price in the U.K, I might be buying this

it was listed today for 70€...

Stonos said,
No scrollwheel?
Seeing how the mouse is the result of a project with multitouch mice i bet there is touch scrolling...

Yup what a sucky design, i can imagine that flexible part moving around as you use it, and/or being too strong/soft. I mean honestly it's trying to fix a problem that doesnt exsist.

Tartan said,
Yup what a sucky design, i can imagine that flexible part moving around as you use it, and/or being too strong/soft. I mean honestly it's trying to fix a problem that doesnt exsist.

But that is exactly the point; you are imagining things and making comments based on what you are imagining. How about we wait and see?

BigBoy said,

But that is exactly the point; you are imagining things and making comments based on what you are imagining. How about we wait and see?

I agree. Though I do think the hinge design of the original Arc is less prone to problems, I am going to reserve judgement until I see it and feel it. I love the current Arc, so I have high hopes for this one.

MFH said,
so no Multi-touch like the Magic Mouse? Lost interesst in this thing immediatly...

Being that this is the result of a microsoft research effort into multi-touch, I would presume win7 flicks will be supported.

MFH said,
so no Multi-touch like the Magic Mouse? Lost interesst in this thing immediatly...

How can you say that when this is a leaked image. microsoft has not even announced it yet.

majortom1981 said,

How can you say that when this is a leaked image. microsoft has not even announced it yet.


Atleast from the look - and a german website - this metalic part in the middle of the mouse will be the only touch-enabled surface and this one is obviously not big enough for multitouch...

MFH said,

Atleast from the look - and a german website - this metalic part in the middle of the mouse will be the only touch-enabled surface and this one is obviously not big enough for multitouch...

Well that's a heck of an assumption... How about we wait until details are actually released, hmm? Seems silly not to, no?

chisss said,
correct me if I am wrong but this mouse does not have back and forward buttons?

I'm not saying it does or doesn't. Microsoft hasn't officially announced the product, we just found these images of the 'mystery device' on a German website.
I expect Microsoft to announce the device later this week, including its functionality.

chisss said,
correct me if I am wrong but this mouse does not have back and forward buttons?

if it is multitouch these would probably be replaced with a gesture

I was under the impression the arc swiveled in when the mouse is not in use. In these pictures the arc looks like a rigid yet flexible pad.

Critical Error said,
"The mouse will be able to track on any surface" Even on the glass?

My Logitech Performance MX is also capable of doing this, so it would seem odd of this mouse will be able to do this as well

Critical Error said,
"The mouse will be able to track on any surface" Even on the glass?

I think the limitation of BlueTrack is glass, so you will not be able to run it on that surface.

Andrew Lyle said,

I think the limitation of BlueTrack is glass, so you will not be able to run it on that surface.

True, BlueTrack doesn't work on glas; opposed to DarkField (Logitech) which does...

MFH said,

True, BlueTrack doesn't work on glas; opposed to DarkField (Logitech) which does...

my ms bluetrack explorer mouse works fine on glass

Critical Error said,
"The mouse will be able to track on any surface" Even on the glass?

I'm not sure what part of the spectrum they are using, but have you ever looked at glass through an IR camera? It looks opaque. Only some materials, like sapphire, are transparent to IR (at least the camera I was using.). I am not an expert.

jaykweber said,
set phasers to stun...

Haha ... thats the first thing that came to my mind ... looks awfully similar to a starfleet phaser ii.

Epic0range said,
So if you get frustrated and hold your mouse tightly will it bend out of shape and **** you off more.

If you have that much frustrations, then you shouldnt be using a computer.

Epic0range said,
So if you get frustrated and hold your mouse tightly will it bend out of shape and **** you off more.

It probably has a lock on it to keep it arched.

Epic0range said,
So if you get frustrated and hold your mouse tightly will it bend out of shape and **** you off more.

Perfect Reply!

Epic0range said,
So if you get frustrated and hold your mouse tightly will it bend out of shape and **** you off more.

lol! +1