Microsoft Intends to Inspire Artists with ‘The Art of Touch’

Microsoft is inspiring artistic creativity through the launch of an international project called The Art of Touch. The campaign provides a free digital toolset and canvas to easily create, save, and share digital artwork.

The Art of Touch

The Art of Touch app is inspired by the natural movements of the Microsoft Touch Mouse family of products. The Arc Touch Mouse is the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort. The app pushes modern browsers to their limit and the canvas feature of HTML5 is combined with JavaScript libraries to draw the strokes and computer-generated animations in real-time to the Web browser. The app is quite different than a traditional drawing program and requires you to anchor your creativity around the intelligence and style of the tool.

The project invites artists of all ages using a modern HTML5-capable browser to use the digital palette and canvas. The Art of Touch site,, transforms a visitor’s mouse into a paintbrush to allow them to paint using six different effects to create their artwork, and show off to their friends online and through Facebook where they can earn votes to win prizes in The Art of Touch Sweepstakes. The top vote-getter will be showcased on The Art of Touch site as a featured artist.

Microsoft Touch Mouse: How Microsoft Took a Concept from Research to Product

It is fascinating to learn that it took a collection of prototypes, collaboration between transatlantic teams, and a lot of user testing to bring Microsoft Touch Mouse to market. The Microsoft Touch Mouse project was unusual compared with other hardware-development projects, because it combined multiple disciplines in a tightly integrated way.

Microsoft Touch Mouse

The joint research effort between Microsoft Research Redmond, Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group introduced five different multi-touch mice prototypes. The research paper, titled Mouse 2.0: Multi-touch Meets the Mouse, presents novel input devices that combine the standard capabilities of a computer mouse with multi-touch sensing. Each prototype explored a different touch-sensing strategy that influenced the design of different mouse form factors and their interaction possibilities.

Humans are naturally dexterous and use their fingers and thumbs to perform a variety of complex interactions to a high precision. The traditional computer mouse design, however, makes little use of this dexterity, reducing our hands to a single cursor on the screen. Our fingers are often relegated to performing relatively simple actions such as clicking the mouse buttons or rolling the mouse wheel. With the emergence of multi-touch, we now have the opportunity to manipulate digital content with increased dexterity.


FTIR Mouse applies the principle of frustrated total internal reflection to illuminate a user’s fingers, and uses a camera to track multiple points of touch on its curved translucent surface


Orb Mouse is equipped with an internal camera and a source of diffuse IR illumination, allowing it to track the user’s hand on its hemispherical surface.


Cap Mouse (short for capacitive mouse) employs a matrix of capacitive touch-sensing electrodes to track the position of the user’s fingertips over its surface.


Side Mouse rests under the palm of hand, allowing fingers to touch the table surface directly in front of the device. These are sensed using an internal camera and IR laser.


Arty Mouse is equipped with three high-resolution optical mouse sensors: one in the base, which rests under the user’s palm, and two under the articulated extensions that follow the movements of the index finger and thumb.


The research team intended to refine their prototypes, both ergonomically and in terms of their sensing capabilities. Therefore, Microsoft Hardware decided to get behind the research, and a team was formed to bring a multi-touch mouse to market. The close collaboration between the hardware team and Microsoft Research in both Cambridge and Redmond went beyond just technology transfer.

The design of the final form factor required sculpting and testing of hundreds of models. The team also examined user interactions and evaluated the kinds of gestures that made sense. The multi-touch gestures are designed to amplify your experience with Windows 7, and are optimized for window management. The design also involved a challenge requiring that users should be able to operate the device using classic point-and-click interactions as well as the newly developed set of multi-touch gestures.

The delightful, fluid desktop experience of Microsoft Touch Mouse is a testimony to the value of the value of quality research to explore new possibilities.

Microsoft Introduces Multi Touch Mouse At CES 2011


While Steve Ballmer talked abut everything that was expected, Microsoft Hardware has released a new multi touch mouse called the Microsoft Touch Mouse.

The Touch mouse is not the Arc Touch but a buttonless gesture based mouse that Arc Touch should’ve been. The Touch Mouse comes with Windows 7 integration, here’s a demo:

As of now the mouse supports upto three fingers gestures. The features as shown are:

  • One Finger scroll
  • Two Fingers window management
  • Three Fingers desktop navigation

Priced at $80 and to be available in May 2011, the mouse can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Initiate Alt-Tab Command Using A Simple Mouse Gesture

[Windows Only] If you keep several windows open while working on your computer, then its obvious that you often get lost while switching between them (windows). This is when a Windows user uses the most common Alt+Tab key combination that gives a simple visual display of the opened windows. This helps you to locate and move to the correct window you are looking for.


Have you ever wondered if it is possible to use this feature with a simple movement of the mouse ? Here is a tool that will help you to do that. Download and run AltEdge. Now whenever you need to switch between windows, just move your mouse pointer to the left side of the screen. You will see the all open windows listed as they are shown when Alt+Tab is used. The switching goes on automatically and whenever the pointer is on the desired window just move your mouse away to right. The window will come to focus.

[Download AltEdge]

Techie-Buzz Verdict

This is a very useful tool and is one of its kind.You can easily use the Alt+Tab feature with a simple mouse gesture. You need not remember the keyboard shortcuts, and you can also use the Alt+Tab feature if any of the keys (Alt or Tab) on the keyboard are not working.

Techie Buzz Rating : 4 / 5 (Excellent)

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Details Surface

Microsoft still has not made the Arc Touch Mouse official, but a German online shopping site Winfuture erroneously posted details and pictures of the upcoming mouse. The Arc Touch mouse from Microsoft has a veryMicrosoft Arc Touch mouse unique design which makes it very comfortable to hold (at least it looks like so!). The mouse also features touch scrolling, along with a LED light for indicating the battery status of the device.

The Arc mouse has the ability to track on nearly any surface, and features a 2.4GHz nano transceiver. Rumors suggest that the mouse will cost $69.95. If this is correct, then the Arc Touch mouse is just a shade more costly than Apple’s Magic Mouse or the Magic Trackpad.

Notebooksbilliger suggest that the shipping period of the device is 5-10 business days. I guess Microsoft is going to officially announce this device within a week from now.

Via – Engadget

Dell Launches The WM311 Optical Mouse

Dell is a company which many people think only sells LCDs, computers andDell WM311 laptops. Well Dell also manufacturers mice for computers and laptops . Their mice might not be as popular as that from Logitech, Razor but nevertheless they still manufacture them. Dell has just released a new wireless optical mouse. The mouse has a density of 1000 dpi and features 3 buttons. The mouse is named as the WM311. The plus point of this mouse is that the mini USB receiver of the mouse can be stored within the device itself.

The WM311 is available in Red, Blue and Black colours. The device has a two tone colour, and the base of the mouse will be in black irrespective of the colour users choose. Users can purchase the mouse from Dell’s Online shop for $29.99 excluding shipping and taxes.


World`s most expensive Computer Mouse: Have a look

Can you guess the name of the World’s Most Expensive Computer Mouse? If you are thinking some technical name, then you are no where near. Interestingly, it is World’s Most Expensive Computer Mouse only. It comprises of 18-karat white gold studded with 59 brilliant cut diamonds. If you go at the looks, you will not find anything extravagant. The base is just like an ordinary mouse, which has few rare gems embedded in it. However, the presence of diamond matters and therefore it costs $26,730.

This innovative mouse is built by a Swiss manufacturer- Pat Says Now.   This mouse is being advertised as a perfect gift for a 60th wedding anniversary (as diamond is the traditional gift for this event) and great choice for a 50th wedding anniversary (as Gold is the traditional gift for this event).

The World’s Most Expensive Computer Mouse comes in two designs- “Diamond Flower” designs and the “Scattered Diamond” design.

Now, it is up to you, whether you want to buy the World’s Most Expensive Computer Mouse or a nice car within that range.

Via: Technabob

Targus Launches Wireless Laser Mouse in India

Targus, a leading manufacturer of computer equipment and accessories, has announced the launch of it’s new Wireless Laser Mouse- AMW51 AP in India.

This mouse features 1200DPI laser technology. The 1200DPI laser sensors enhances the accuracy of the mouse and helps in flawless mouse movements. Targus AMW51AP also uses the new RF 2.4GHz technology which reduces the cordless interference significantly.

This mouse has been ergonomically designed for ambidextrous usage and provides an unmatched comfort.

Other key features:

  • Soft and flexible side grips
  • A solid battery life of 15 months
  • Weighs 118 g
  • Dimension:- 10.8 x 5.7 x 3.4 cm
  • Available in Black/Grey
  • Accessibility range of 10m away from the system, even through walls
  • Compatible with PCs, Macs or Netbooks
  • Also has a battery life indicator

It’s a really great mouse and is one of the first wireless mouse meant for serious gaming. Try out this new mouse of Targus as it is priced just Rs 1,775.It also come with a 3 years warranty.

5 Software Replacements For Broken Hardware

Computers aren’t that expensive any more but why spend money buying a new one when all you have is a broken keyboard or dis-functional power switch for your monitor. Here are great utilities that can serve as replacements when specific hardware goes haywire:

1. Monitor Off:

If the power button on your monitor doesn’t work any more, don’t fear. MonitorOff is a simple utility that can turn the power of your monitor off when you rub it. To turn your monitor on again, simply move your mouse or press a key on your keyboard.

2. Optical Drive Tray:

So your CD Rom drive works but the little button thingy on it is moody? Use this handy utility to open and close the drive tray with a simple slick. The great thing is, it supports up to 4 optical drives at any given time.

3. Touch It (On Screen Keyboard):

If you think your keyboard is a piece of junk, ditch it for an on-screen keyboard that can be customized. Touch-It is a great utility for this with extended features like task switching and multi monitor support.

4. DK:Keyboard:

If the LED light indicating the status of your CAPS LOCK and NUM LOCK keys is broken, use this great tool to have an on-screen bubble indicate their status.

5. J-Mouse:

Your mouse just broke but you do have an old joystick lying around? Use J-Mouse to turn a joystick or game pad into a mouse.

Hardware Replacement