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Apple patents 'ambidextrous' mouse

The latest Apple patent filing tells us all about an ambidextrous mouse capable of recognising whether you are holding the thing with your right or your left hand.

The mouse is able to work in either mode, and may even include “right handed buttons on the front side of the mouse and left handed buttons on the back side of the mouse. The user may change the handedness of the mouse by rotating the mouse about a vertical axis of the mouse such that the left hand can use the left hand buttons and the right hand can use the right hand buttons,” the patent abstract explains. It was published last night.

“The mouse may include a handedness selection system for configuring the mouse for right handed or left handed use even though the mouse has the capability for both right and left hands,” it continues.

The patent was filed in 2003. The mouse would include sensors capable of determining which way you happened to be holding the inpout device. Naturally, this mouse is also buttonless (for a user interface company, Apple sure hates interfaces).

As described the mouse may even be able to reconfigure its sensitivity for different hand sizes and shapes — even to the extent of identifying the current Mac user by the touch pattern of their hand. I can imagine the Mac would then open up within that user’s Home folder.

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