Happy 40th birthday to the computer mouse
December 4, 2008 Computer peripherals giant Logitech recently shipped its billionth mouse, quite some feat given there are only 6.7 billion humans and a billion PCs on the planet. The mouse, in conjunction with the dastardly QWERTY keyboard, has become the cornerstone of the Computer Human Interface. The milestone comes within days of the fortieth anniversary of the first public demonstration of the computer mouse. On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart gave a live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, which included the first mouse. The accompanying image is of the great grandaddy of the thing you’ve probably got in your hand as you read this.
“What a wonderful coincidence that the leading mouse manufacturer has reached such a significant milestone in the same month that we celebrate Doug Engelbart’s legendary public debut of the computer mouse,” said Curt Carlson, president and CEO of SRI International. “Logitech’s product innovations support Engelbart’s vision of human-computer tools for interactive and collaborative work.”
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A pioneer in the development of the computer mouse in the 1980s, Logitech has enthusiastically driven nearly every major innovation in mouse technology – persistently refining this ubiquitous interface between people and their digital experiences. With more than a billion people currently using computers worldwide and another billion expected to begin using computers by 2014, according to a report by analyst firm Gartner, Logitech continues to pursue compelling innovation to delight users of the next billion mice and input devices of the future.
Founded in a farmhouse in Apples, Switzerland in 1981 and shortly thereafter establishing strong ties in Silicon Valley, Logitech introduced its first retail mouse in 1985 and reached the 100 millionth mouse mark in 1996. Sales of Logitech mice topped 500 million seven years later. Today, Logitech sells mice in more than 100 countries and manufactures an average 7.8 million every month.
“Since the first click of the Logitech® P4 mouse in 1982, Logitech mice have played an indispensable role in the evolution of the personal computer,” said Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech’s president and chief executive officer. “During the last few decades, the way people use computers has changed dramatically – what was once strictly a business tool has become highly integrated into our personal lives. Logitech has continually pursued innovations to meet those changing conditions, introducing – in the last five years alone – the world’s first laser mouse, hyper-fast scrolling and the nano-receiver.”
“Looking to the future, the gesture-based Logitech® MX™ Air mouse and the hybrid Logitech® diNovo Mini™ palm-sized keyboard hint at what can be expected from Logitech’s next generation of innovations,” said Rory Dooley, Logitech senior vice president and general manager of the Control Devices business unit. “While the traditional mouse and keyboard still make the most sense for productivity, the emergence of the digital home and new forms of entertainment are opening the doors to new ways of interacting with the computer, whether it be voice, touch or something entirely new.”