Oblong doesn’t remember using a mouse

Remember, the applications built for the mouse took a while to be perfected,” Kramer says. “The mouse wasn’t really pixel-perfect until the end of the 1980s. And even then, the consumer class were not there,” he continues, noting that just as the mouse evolved into the tool it is today, touch and gestures will be next.

Tech Crunch is touting Oblong’s new collaborative user interface. I haven’t used it, so I can’t say whether it’s good or not. I will say that I think it’s unlikely to succeed in its present form. The article says that it’s designed specifically for working in conference rooms and other large spaces, and that’s too small a market to have an impact on general UI. Look at the Microsoft Surface — it had a two-year jump on the iPad, and what sort of impact has it had?

But as someone who’s been using a mouse since the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, the above quote just strikes me as odd. Unless Kramer is using “pixel-perfect” the way Humpty-Dumpty would use it — “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.” — the Macintosh has had that from day one.

If he wants to say that people found new and interesting ways to use the mouse throughout the eighties, that’s true; but it’s also true of the nineties and even to today.

I agree that the mouse is on the decline, but I don’t think it’s going away because of a technology that sees its main use only in conference rooms.


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