Touching Beyond Clicks: Advancing the Functionality of Computer Mice with Touch Interfaces

Touching Beyond Clicks: Advancing the Functionality of Computer Mice with Touch Interfaces
David Halbhuber
Michael Pickl
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Computer mice have been a standard input device for computers for decades, but their design and functionality have remained relatively unchanged. While computer mice have evolved from mechanical to optical and wireless, their interaction remains limited to clicking and scrolling. Touch interaction has become increasingly ubiquitous in our daily lives, from smartphones to home appliances, and has the potential to greatly enhance the functionality of computer mice. However, there is a lack of research on how touch interfaces can be integrated into computer mice to improve their usability and efficiency. In addition to the potential benefits of touch interfaces in enhancing mouse functionality, touch-sensitive mice could also be utilized for user authentication or user activity detection. By incorporating touch sensors into the design, the mouse could detect specific user touches or patterns of touches, allowing for a new level of security and personalization. Additionally, touch sensors could be used to detect user activity and adjust settings accordingly, such as changing the sensitivity or power-saving mode when the mouse is not in use or increasing the DPI when the mouse the detects that the user is playing a video game. This opens up new possibilities for the use of touch interfaces in computer peripherals and highlights the potential for touch-sensitive mice to be a valuable tool in various fields, from business to education to healthcare.

Zielsetzung der Arbeit

The goal of this work is to investigate and develop new ways of incorporating touch interfaces into computer mice to enhance their functionality and user experience. The research aims to explore the potential benefits of touch interfaces on computer mice, such as improved accuracy, speed, and ease of use. Futhermore, this work will also the investigate the use of touch-based user authentication and/or activitiy detection (scope will be defined together with the student). Additionally, the study will investigate the potential for integrating touch interfaces with existing mouse designs and explore new design possibilities.

Konkrete Aufgaben

  1. Getting an overview of existing literature on computer mice and multi-touch
  2. Preparation of a research question
  3. Create a prototype, integrate a multi-touch interface into a computer mouse
  4. Creating a data pipeline for data generation
  5. Conducting a user study
  6. Evaluation the data


The prototype is being developed using Saarland University's Multi-Touch Kit. The Multi-Touch Kit allows you to quickly and easily create a prototype for testing Multi-Touch. The Multi-Touch Kit provides detailed instructions on how to use the kit using an Arduino UNO and a software to gain data. The kit consists of a grid that measures the electronic capacitance between two electrodes. The resulting data indicates a touch. In the course of the work, the software is to be adapted so that the data is stored as a CSV file via a pipeline, this will allow better analysis of the data. For the prototype, the kit is mounted on a mouse, making it possible to examine the use of users. The data can be used to analyse which areas of the mouse are best or least suitable for multi-touch. This data should help future projects develop new technologies.

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