Apple Patents: Rotary Mouse

MacObserver notes that Apple has filed a patent for a mouse with a rotary wheel. The rotational wheel would provide the user with the a scroll mechanism as well as a button.

The patent describes the disadvantages of the traditional scroll wheel mouse:


    Unfortunately, the mouse described in FIG. 1 [Traditional Scrollwheel mouse] has several drawbacks. For example, the scroll wheel is limited in that it only provides a single finger position for accessing the scroll wheel (e.g., same position for left and right handed users). Furthermore, because only a small portion of the wheel can be used at any one time, the user cannot continuously turn the wheel. That is, the user must scroll, pick up a finger, scroll, pick up a finger, etc. This takes time and can be an annoyance to a user. In addition, because a portion of the wheel protrudes above the top surface of the mouse, inadvertent or accidental scrolling may occur when one of the two buttons is activated. That is, when the user goes to push the button or when the user switches from one button to the other, the user's finger may also engage the scroll wheel thus causing the wheel to turn when the button is depressed. Moreover, because the scroll wheel can only be manipulated in one direction, the use of the scroll wheel becomes counter intuitive when scrolling in a different direction in the GUI, as for example directions that are orthogonal thereto. That is, the scroll wheel only moves in one direction and thus it generally corresponds well to vertical scrolling and not horizontal scrolling (or vice versa). Also, the protruding scroll wheel is not aesthetically pleasing and thus it presents industrial design difficulties.

Users have speculated about such a wheel-device on a mouse, since the release of the iPod, with at least one mockup posted in May 2002.

Popular Stories

Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

Five iPhone 14 Rumors You May Have Missed

Thursday August 4, 2022 6:05 am PDT by
With August upon us, the countdown is officially on. We're just weeks away from when we're expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 14 lineup. Rumors of the next iPhone start early in the year, and as a result, some details about the upcoming device sometimes get lost in the crowd. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo To help MacRumors readers, we've created a ...
banish safari app pop ups

New iOS App Blocks Those Annoying 'Open in App' Pop-Ups in Safari

Friday August 5, 2022 2:47 am PDT by
You've probably experienced visiting a website like Reddit or LinkedIn on your iPhone only to be greeted with an annoying, almost full-screen pop-up urging you to view the content in their app instead of on the website. It's a common practice for websites that have accompanying iOS apps to push users to open (if they already have the app installed) or download their app from the App Store to ...
top stories 7aug22

Top Stories: iPadOS 16 Delayed, iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, Studio Display Speaker Issues

Saturday August 6, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The big Apple news this week was word that the upcoming iPadOS 16 update apparently won't be arriving alongside its counterpart update for the iPhone in September, largely due to a need to continue refining the new Stage Manager multitasking feature. Other popular stories this week included more hints about the iPhone 14 Pro's rumored always-on display, potential design leaks for the...