What year was the computer mouse invented? First computer mouse

Practically everyone knows. It’s impossible to imagine a modern computer without this gadget, which greatly simplifies the PC management process. But only a few users know what year they invented the computer mouse, and who its creator was. Let's remember how this gadget appeared, and how it was from the very beginning.

what year was the computer mouse invented

What year was the computer mouse invented?

December 9, 1968 - on this day the world saw the prototype of all modern computer mice. Of course, it was just a prototype. However, until that time there were special computerized radars and manipulators that became the basis for the creation of the modern mouse.

The very first prototype appeared in the early 50s. Then, on the Cossack Navy of Canada, computerized radars were created with the first graphical interface. For them, a special cursor positioning system was required, for which a simple device based on a smooth ball was used.He was called the trackball, and this was the first step towards creating a modern computer mouse.

first computer mouse

A little later, in 1951, Douglas Engelbart (the creator) was already thinking about developing a manipulator, and in 1955 he took part in the manufacture of radar systems. In particular, he developed information display systems as part of the NASA computer program. According to Douglas himself, he, together with his team, created a table with the parameters and capabilities of all modern manipulators at that time, determined their functions and required parameters, which were not yet there at that time. In the course of the study in 1963, an idea was created to create a display pointer that would move in the X-Y coordinate system.

First prototype

In 1964, according to the development of Douglas Engelbart, a graduate student at the Stanford Research Institute, Billy English, assembled the first prototype of a computer mouse. At the same time, a program was written to demonstrate its capabilities.

It was a large square brown wooden box with a big red button at the top. The cord was located in front, but eventually it moved back. So he almost did not interfere.Inside there was a planar displacement sensor, which consisted of two metal disks. They were located perpendicular to each other: one rotated when the device moved to the side, and the other was responsible for moving forward or backward. Given this design, the mouse could not be moved diagonally, it could move forward or backward.

types of computer mice

Speaking about the year in which the computer mouse was invented, it is worth clarifying that some people rightly believe that this invention was born in 1946. After all, this year appeared the device-prototype of all modern computer gadgets.

First presentation of the mouse

A little later, on December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart presented to the group of engineers a more perfect modification of this device. It worked as the OS oN-Line System manipulator. The mouse had three buttons, although Douglas Engelbart himself claimed that he wanted to make 5 buttons (for each finger). And although at first they planned to call the device a “beetle”, later the name “mouse” got stuck - because of a thick connecting cable that resembled rodent tails.

So, if it is logical to calculate in what year the computer mouse was invented, then we can speak of two dates: 1964 and 1968.In 1970, the inventor received a patent that fixed the authorship of the manipulator, based on the use of two perpendicularly located wheels. At the same time, the principle of the manipulator was not patented.

who invented the computer mouse

In 1972, this study was actively engaged in the company Xerox PARC, which significantly improved this gadget. In particular, then the discs were replaced with a small ball or rollers. So there were new types of computer mice.

In 1979, Xerox created the Xerox Alto computer, which was a research prototype and was not included in the series. But he was equipped with a computer mouse and had a graphical interface in the form of a desktop. It was created several thousand of these computers.

The appearance of a rubber ball inside the body

In 1979, the Stanford Research Institute (it was there that Engelbart's team worked) sold the Apple mouse project for 40 thousand dollars. Having obtained a license for such an invention, Apple commissioned Hovey-Kelley Design Studios to improve the mouse. As a result, instead of a steel bearing, she received a comfortable rubber ball that rolled freely in the housing. The introduction of this innovation has eliminated the complex system of coding wheels and electrical contacts. Instead, simple optoelectronic transducers and wheels with slotted slots were implemented.

computer mouse creation history

Further development

In 1983, already a dozen companies produced and sold various types of computer mice. That same year, Apple released the one-button mouse, Lisa. It was designed by order of Apple in the center of Palo Alto. Engineers were able to create a cheap modification of this device, make it compact and collapsible. It was possible to remove the ball from the inside, clean it from dust. This mouse was included with the Apple-Macintosh home computer.

In 1987, the term of the patent of Douglas Engelbart expired and only in 1998 the merits of this inventor were officially recognized. Engelbart himself received a Lemelson-MIT Prize of $ 500,000.

Since 1999, optical mice have begun to appear that work on any surface. Many models that were released after 2000, have survived to our days. Moreover, some of them are successfully used.


The history of creating a computer mouse is short. In approximately 30 years, it was possible to create a high-tech gadget from a primitive and very expensive device, which is cheap today. As for modern models, they are radically different from the first computer mouse. From it there was only the idea of ​​positioning the cursor on the graphical interface.

Now you know who invented the computer mouse. In this regard, no one has any doubts.As for the date of creation, there are 2 opinions here:

  1. In 1964, a post-graduate student at the Stanford Research Institute created a prototype of this gadget (designed by Engelbart).
  2. In 1968, Engelbart himself introduced a working, improved version of the mouse.

Here everyone decides for himself when the first computer mouse appeared. However, it is considered that for the first time she saw the world on December 9, 1968.

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