computer mouse types

Types of mouse and how they work- explained

We are are surrounded with technology. We have computers, we have a really interesting device with which we control almost everything. Any guesses? Exactly, the mouse.

And there are different types of mouse. But have you used all of them, wireless, gstick, optical, trackball, mechanical? Let’s talk about all of them and how they work.


wireless mouse
Lenovo wireless mouse

The Mouse without wire or cord is called wireless mouse or cordless mouse. Most wireless mice use radiofrequency (RF) technology to communicate information to your computer. Since RF devices require two main components: a transmitter and a receiver,thats why wireless mouse also requires it.

Working :
• The transmitter is housed in the mouse. It sends an electromagnetic (radio) signal that encodes the information about the mouse’s movements and the buttons you click.
• The receiver, which is connected to your computer, accepts the signal, decodes it and passes it on to the mouse driver software and your computer’s operating system.
• The receiver can be a separate device that plugs into your computer, a special card that you place in an expansion slot, or a built-in component.

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Gordon Stewart designed the Stick to add a more authentic and natural feel to artistic manipulations on both Macs and PCs. These mice are Wireless and pocket-sized. It looks like a pencil. gStick mouse is like a pencil. It can be used for web browsing, office work or whatever you do with your traditional mouse, with more comfort. It also features a scroll wheel that can be manipulated with a finger or thumb a button on either side of the wheel. It’s claimed that a single AAA battery will power the gStick for between three and five months.

gstick mouse
you can hold it like a pen

An optical mouse is an computer pointing device that uses a light-emitting diode an optical sensor, and digital signal processing ( DSP ).This mouse doesn’t have mouse ball and electromechanical transducer. Movement is detected by sensing changes in reflected light, instead of interpreting the motion of a rolling sphere.

Technotech optical mouse

An optical mouse does not have moving parts thats why there is no need of cleaning .Also there is no mechanical fatigue and failure in this type of mice. The optical mouse takes microscopic snapshots of the working surface at a rate of more than 1,000 images per second. If the mouse is moved, the image changes . The best surfaces reflect but scatter light; an example is a blank sheet of white drawing paper. Some surfaces do not allow the sensor and DSP to function properly because the irregularities are too small to be detected. An example of a poor optical-mousing surface is unfrosted glass.

A trackball mouse is a pointing device.It consists of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a rotation of the ball. The user rolls the ball with the thumb, fingers, or the palm of the hand to move a pointer. the operator just continues rolling with trackball but a mouse would have to be lifted and re-positioned. Some trackballs, such as Logitech’s optical-pickoff types, have notably low friction, as well as being dense (glass), so they can be spun to make them coast. Large trackballs are common on CAD workstations.

trackball mouse
Kensington trackball mouse

In 1972, Bill English (builder of Engelbart’s original mouse) invented the ball mouse, while working for Xerox PARC. In this, a single mouse was replaced by the external wheels, which could roll in any direction.

mechanical mouse
aka ball mouse

Mechanical mouse is a device integrated with an internal metal or rubber ball, which can spin in all directions (left, right, up and down). Thus, the display cursor moves as the mouse detects the direction. The ball in the mechanical mouse spins when it comes in contact with surface on which it is placed.