An Israeli startup’s 1×1 mm mouse could take a starring role in everything from mobile to medical technology as design goes smaller. Applications could range from tiny mouse-controlled medical devices inside the body to gaming devices with two micro-mice positioned to let player’s thumbs control the action.
“How small can a mouse be?” asks a presentation by Israeli startup MicroPointing. Well, how small does it have to be?
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“Small. Really small.” That’s the answer of MicroPointing‘s CEO Ailon Tamir. To that end, his company is developing what looks to be the world’s smallest mouse device – as minuscule as one square millimeter.
On the firing line is the common, everyday cell phone mouse – also known as the “four-way rocker,” used to control menus, functions, and other features of mobile phones. What’s wrong with the rocker we have all come to know and love?
“It’s a relic of a bygone era,” Tamir tells ISRAEL21c. “The leading edge of product development is in the device market, with touch screens, miniature keyboards, menu buttons and the like. There is a great deal of competition for space on the device surface, which of course is very limited. And the old-fashioned rocker-style mouse used by most devices today, which measures 35 millimeters squared, just takes up too much room.”
It’s not only Tamir who has noted this trend. “Recently, Jeff Raynor, principal technologist of ST Microelectronics’ imaging division, and inventor of the optical mouse, said at a conference that the four-way rocker was finished, and that the future belonged to smaller, smoother devices – just like the one we have developed,” says Tamir.