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As you know, the simplest/cheapest type of computer mouse has a cord that connects to the computer. The mouse may or may not need a special surface, but often it is better to have it than not. Well, as you know, that cord tends to get in the way sometimes. So various solutions have been offered to
make the mouse wireless.
However! Those solutions still have the mouse being an electronic processing center for signals, determining how it is moving relative to the surface it's on. This takes power, and so almost all cordless mice take batteries. This leads to more suggestions about how to remove the batteries, also.
This particular notion involves an "intelligent mouse pad". The pad is big enough for normal mousing motions, and so you move the mouse around the pad in the normal way. The pad is connected by a cord to the computer, and receives what little power it needs from the computer, in the usual way. The mouse itself is really stupid; it's just a thing you can hold in your hand, sort-of a substitute for using your finger on a touch pad. The following are some suggested details. Most important is having a way for a mouse-button-click to register on the intelligent mouse pad.
Let us imagine that the surface of the mouse pad is criss-crossed with an UNPOWERED array of fine wires. Near the center of the mouse body, on its underside, is a square having 4 magnets at its corners. As the mouse is moved across the grid of wires, tiny currents are induced to flow in them. The electronics in the mouse pad uses this to sense the location of the 4 magnets. It specifies the center of the square as the location it gives to the attached computer, in the usual way.
The mouse buttons are attached to a simple chain of levers inside the body of the mouse. At the end of each chain is another small magnet, located within the square of the 4 mouse-body magnets. When a mouse-button is clicked, the small magnet at the end of the lever-chain bobs up-and-down near the mouse surface. This also induces some tiny and distinctively different currents in the wire grid, that the electronics in the mouse pad can detect. The location of the magnet, within the last-determined location of the magnet-square, lets the electronics determine which button had been clicked. The computer is then appropriately signalled, in the usual way.
(?) Battery-free wireless mouse, induction charged
Alternatively, you could just buy this. [jutta, Jun 30 2006]
||This sounds an awful lot like a trackpad with a goofy mechanical mouse apparatus just to add potential failure points.
||Isn't this just a wacom tablet?
||Much simpler: each mouse button makes a distinctive noise, and the pad registers the noise using a mic., and translates the noises to mouse button presses.
||Okay, so it's a glorified trackpad with a dumb-mouse feature to appease the trackpad-impaired. So... I like it. The smart mousepad/trackpad could come with the keyboard, and a device that acts like a wireless mouse can do the navigating and clicking on it.