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Apple has been granted a patent (number 8279175) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a mouse with embedded touch sensors -- in other words, the Mighty Mouse.
Per the patent, the mouse is configured with touch sensing areas capable of generating input signals. The touch sensing areas may for example be used to differentiate between left and right clicks in a single button mouse. The mouse may further be configured with force sensing areas capable of generating input signals.
The force sensing areas may for example be positioned on the sides of the mouse so that squeezing the mouse generates input signals. The mouse may further be configured with a jog ball capable of generating input signals. The mouse may additionally be configured with a speaker for providing audio feedback when the various input devices are activated by a user.
The inventors are Christoph Horst Krah, Jeffrey B. Doar, Sean Corbin, Shin Nishibori and Wing Kong Low.
Apple has also been granted the following patents:
° Patent number 8281065 for systems and methods for determining the status of memory locations in a non-volatile memory;
° Patent number 8280991 for a method and apparatus for detecting incorrect responses to network queries;
° Patent number 8280416- for a method and system for distributing data to mobile devices;
° Patent number 8280171- for tools for selecting a section of interest within an image;
° Patent number 8280038- for microphone line based detection of headset plug removal;
° Patent number 829180- for a multipoint touch surface controller;
° Patent number 8276164- for a method and an apparatus that allocate one or more physical compute devices such as CPUs or GPUs attached to a host processing unit running an application for executing one or more threads of the application.