Come September, Microsoft will announce the Arc Touch Mouse. A research report that was released in October of 2009 details the team’s goal of bringing multi-touch to a mouse.
In this paper we present novel input devices that combine the standard capabilities of a computer mouse with multi-touch sensing. Our goal is to enrich traditional pointer-based desktop interactions with touch and gestures. To chart the design space, we present five different multi-touch mouse implementations. Each explores a different touch sensing strategy, which leads to differing form-factors and hence interactive possibilities. In addition to the detailed description of hardware and software implementa-tions of our prototypes, we discuss the relative strengths, limitations and affordances of these novel input devices as informed by the results of a preliminary user study.
If you require further knowledge on the subject then download the report here in PDF form.
Sounds great except Neowin’s contact(s) suggest the Arc Touch won’t support multi-touch out of the gate and will only be a “basic implementation of touch” that’s compatible with Windows 7. It’s expected to retail for about $70, which is a bit steep considering the lack of functionality. Bummer.