(The official version of this article was made available in May, 2004.)

Mouse with pocket

Ethan L. Greer
Timothy D. Greer
William F. Phillips

Disclosed is a computer mouse with a pocket. Design of an ordinary computer mouse can be modified to include a door to empty space inside. A hinged door seems best, but a sliding door would also be possible, and conceivably even a cloth covering would be acceptable. Something such as a clasp or velcro needs provided to keep the door closed.

Additional modifications to the mouse could provide improvements for the pocket. Internal repositioning of the roller ball or other parts could increase the size of the pocket and may be desirable for balance and feel. One might choose to change the external shape too -- the variety of shapes found in the market shows that there is no universally accepted ideal. Certainly, the size of the pocket could be increased by increasing the external dimensions of the mouse.

With data entry today so often done via mouse, much design consideration is given so the mouse user finds it easy to have a natural grasp. Really easy entry requires this in mice. But for some people, particularly in winter, their hand gets cold while using a computer mouse. The impact can range from minor annoyance to actually quitting or avoiding computer use. The number of people encountering this problem may be expected to increase as the population ages and computer use by elderly people becomes common. It would be nice to have a heated mouse to grasp.

With the modifications described, one can make use of the empty space typically found within a mouse to allow a pocket to be accessed. Heating devices can then be placed within the pocket to heat the mouse directly. The heating device would probably be some low-tech application -- tiny hot water bottle, chemical heat-generator (such as are sold as hand-warmers for outdoor use in winter), etc. A built-in low-level powered heater is less likely. Its power source would presumably be batteries, and rather than purchasing and changing batteries one might as well change the hot water bottle.

In addition to the door and shape changes, it would be desirable to include metal pathways in the mouse in order to efficiently conduct heat. However, plastic would continue to be the material of choice for the outside, both for aesthetics and to avoid excessively hot spots.

The information provided, and views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the IBM Corporation.


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