January 5, 2011 10:55 pm

Bring Multitouch Gestures to your Windows 7 PC with the new Touch Mouse

By / Senior Program Manager, Windows Insider Program

Tonight at CES 2011 we announced the new Touch Mouse from Microsoft Hardware. This new mouse adds multitouch gestures to Windows 7 on top of the normal “point and click” experience.

MTM_Blk_ATop_FY11 MTM_Blk_FOB_FY11

The Touch Mouse is the result of the Mouse 2.0 project that was done by Microsoft Research. You can read about the Mouse 2.0 project here from the Microsoft Research website.

I’ve had the pleasure of using a pre-production version of the new Touch Mouse over the last few days and it really does make interacting with Windows 7 much more intuitive. I’m actually enjoying this mouse so much I bring it home each night from work to use at home and then back to work the next day.

The new Touch Mouse adds multitouch gestures for 1, 2, or 3 fingers.

touch_gestures

It also allows you to use gestures for “shorter” shortcuts – tasks you normally do with a keyboard.

touch_shortcuts

For me, the most common gestures I use with the Touch Mouse are scrolling with 1 finger or minimizing or maximizing application windows with 2 fingers. But during writing this blog post, I also discovered how easy it was to use 2 fingers to slide left, then slide right on any open window to take advantage of Aero Snap. I am also enjoying moving my thumb horizontal to the left to go back in IE9 or to the right to go forward.

When sliding your fingers over the mouse, you get animated “touch trails” to see what is happening as you interact with Windows 7. The touch trails look like this:

touch_mouse_touchpoints

The new Touch Mouse also provides an improved task switching experience in Windows 7. When you use 3 fingers and swipe up on the mouse, it brings a grid view of all your open application windows.

touch_mouse_grid

You can then choose which application you want to switch to. Now, here at work I have 3 monitors connected to my work desktop PC. Depending on which monitor the mouse cursor is on, that’s where the grid view of opened application windows will appear. I thought this was really neat.

The Touch Mouse also utilizes BlueTrack Technology making it usable without a mouse pad on almost any surface. And the small nano transceiver (2.4GHz wireless) snaps into the bottom of the mouse for easy storage. When it’s released, the Touch Mouse will utilize an updated version of the Microsoft IntelliPoint software for the enhancements in Windows 7 to support the mouse.

Here are a few pictures I took of the unit:

SONY DSC                        SONY DSC                        SONY DSC

You can read more about the Touch Mouse from one of the researchers behind it’s design from the Microsoft Hardware Blog. And check out the video below of a demo:

The Touch Mouse will be available in June 2011 at an estimated retail price of $79.95 (U.S.) and you’ll be able to pre-order today from the online Microsoft Store, Amazon.com, and Best Buy.com.