Bringing multitouch capabilities to their desktop line, Apple has introduced a new multitouch-capable mouse. Called the ‘Magic Mouse’, the new peripheral replaces the Mighty Mouse, easily one of Apple’s more controversial products. The new mouse features only one button, and no scroll wheel. A capacitive multitouch surface covers the entire top of the mouse, meaning that it doesn’t matter precisely where you rest your hand and fingers – the whole mouse is the input device.
The new Magic Mouse allows for scrolling vertically, horizontally and even diagonally. Among the supported gestures are scrolling, both in webpages and general OS applications such as iPhoto.
You can use two finger ‘swipes’ to move pages in Safari or switch photos in OS X’s iPhoto app. Unfortunately, there’s no pinch and zoom (at this time), which is probably the most famous and one of the most desired multitouch gestures out there.
Unsurprisingly, the Magic Mouse uses laser (as opposed to regular optical) tracking technology, and gets its wireless connectivity via Bluetooth – no transceiver dongles necessary. This does mean that it can only be used on Macs that already have Bluetooth capabilities. Furthermore, it currently doesn’t work on Windows – while there’s no doubt you can probably pair it up over Bluetooth as a generic wireless mouse, getting the multitouch gestures to work makes it an iffy preposition at best.
The mouse’s internal electronics analyzes touch and hand movement on the capacitive surface to differentiate between desired touch actions and the simple act of resting your hand on the mouse. While it doesn’t look like it’s all that ergonomic, one cool aspect about having such a versatile design is that you can easily make the mouse left- or right-handed just in software. Apple’s Magic Mouse goes on sale today for $69 separately, or as part of the standard package shipped with all of the new iMac all-in-one desktops.