It’s no doubt that type of equipment affects how people work. For those working on a computer for a majority of the working day, the type of computer and accessories which work alongside it are to suit the individual’s preferences to ensure comfort and productivity.  With the standard conventional computer mouse being upgraded in ways of wireless or upright versions; here’s the low-down on types of computer mice.

Mechanical/Ball Mouse

img: Xosema

The original mouse ball mouse was invented by Bill English in 1972, consisting of a plastic shell, clicker buttons and a small rubber or metal ball underneath, exposed for movement. The way it worked was simple; sensors detect the direction in which the ball is moving, which then translates to the on-screen pointer.  Very revolutionary from the first ever mouse, which was of an angular wooden shell with two metal wheels directing movement. 

Optical/Laser Mouse
The ball mouse then evolved into using light-emitting to detect movement, after discovering a fault in that the mechanical ball would collect dirt and dust over a period of time. The optical mice use LED, and the laser mice (as the name suggests) uses laser lights. The light emitter uses more precise scanning detection, and providing an up-to-date version of the computer mouse.

Wireless Mouse
The improved conventional mouse with advanced technologies brought the less-restrictive wireless mouse. Some use radio frequency (RF) technology and others use similar technologies like Bluetooth to communicate information to your computer, without the use of USB wires. Like with wireless keyboards, the restriction is gone and the computers can be used more freely.

G-Stick/Pen Mouse


A more authentic take on the mouse, popular for use on graphic design in programs such as Photoshop, the stick mouse is held and used like a pen on a surface or mouse pad. Gordon Stewart designed the Stick to add a more authentic and natural feel to artistic manipulations on both Macs and PCs.

Touchpads
Used on laptop computers most commonly, the touchpad mouse allows for a seamless design, allowing for the clam-shell shape. They’re said to be more comfortable and put less strain on the hand and wrist, as a lot of the time, just a couple of fingers are being moved when navigating the mouse, as opposed to the whole hand. They’re also built into devices like laptops and so no extra baggage is necessary. Some find them difficult to use and opt for a separate USB/wireless mouse as a laptop accessory; however some find them the best to use, with some companies having wireless options available to buy for desktop computer add-ons.

Vertical Mouse

Img Flickr

A newer advance in computer mice is the vertical mouse. Leading vertical mouse company Evoluent note on their website:

‘In 1994, a revolutionary ergonomic mouse was invented and patented by Jack Lo due to discomfort he had when using a conventional mouse. His invention was the first mouse to support a hand in a fully upright handshake position for eliminating the arm twisting required by ordinary mice.’ 

img Evoluent

The upright mouse allows the arm to be in a more relaxed neutral arm position, increasing comfort.
Like the Pen mice and Touchpads aimed to do also, the varied arm and hand positions may potentially reduce the risk of tendonitis.  Tendon injury, as the NHS website informs, can be caused by repetitive daily activities, such as regularly using a computer keyboard and mouse. This specific type is known as a repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Not twisting the arm for use of a conventional mouse means the arm and hand’s position is more natural and comfortable, less likely to cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness, throbbing, weakness or cramp.

Whether you’re happy with the conventional laser/optical mice for your work desk, or venture into more uncommon vertical or pen types, each have benefits and disadvantages, depending on the task at hand and accompanying technologies.




 Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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