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article imageSilicon Valley company produces one billionth computer mouse

By Chris V. Thangham     Dec 3, 2008 in Technology
Over the years, many have sounded the impending death of the computer mouse but so far it has survived like its namesake for nearly 40 years with no clear alternative. Logitech, a technology company in Silicon Valley, produced its one billionth mouse.
Logitech is excited with this landmark and calls it a significant milestone in the technology industry.
Logitech's general manager Rory Dooley told the BBC, "It's rare in human history that a billionth of anything has been shipped by one company."
Others, however, still think the mouse will be dead. Gartner analyst Steve Prentice predicts the mouse will no longer be part of the mainstream in the next three to five years.
Touch-screen (or touch pad) technology found in devices like the Apple iPhone, laptops and recently in HP Desktops (TouchSmart PC) is the current alternative to the mouse. Many people still do prefer using a mouse with a laptop via a USB connection.
Another alternative is to incorporate movement sensors similar to those found in Nintendo Wii and in iPhone 3G so objects could be moved on-screen without the touch input.
Prentice claims future technologies like facial and movement recognition might also replace the mouse.
Dooley, however, thinks the new technologies will work together with mouse and improve the computer experience. He believe it will be very hard to replace the mouse altogether, saying:
"The fundamental functionality of the mouse has not changed for 40 years and that is one of the keys to its success. We do not envisage unlearning all those years of learning but that doesn't mean to say there will not be a place for touch interfaces.
Logitech said they rolled their one billionth mouse off of their production line in China in the middle of November.
The computer mouse will be celebrating its 40th birthday next week. The first mouse was created in Dec. 9, 1968 by Douglas C. Engelbart and his team at Stanford University.
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