Today in Apple history: Mighty Mouse goes wireless — with lasers!

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Mighty Mouse
The images Apple submitted to the FCC of its new mouse.
Photo: Federal Communications Commission/Apple

July 24: Today in Apple history: Apple Mighty Mouse goes wireless -- with lasers! July 24, 2006: The world gets it first glimpse of Apple’s new wireless Mighty Mouse, a multibutton Bluetooth device with super-accurate laser tracking.

Photos of the accessory come to light through an Apple filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Apple launches the device the very next day.

The wireless Mighty Mouse came a year after the wired version, which itself brought a big change for Apple. Up until that point, every mouse the company shipped for the Mac came with only one button.

Designed to simplify the experience of using a mouse, this constraint proved unnecessary by the 2000s. After all, many users had been using mice for the majority of their lives at this point.

The Mighty Mouse came with two buttons, a miniature trackball for scrolling, and side squeeze sensors — greatly boosting the functionality of Apple mice. To get around Steve Jobs’ hatred of visible buttons, it retained the “no button” design of the company’s previous mouse. (That design came about after Jobs accidentally approved an unfinished mouse prototype.)

Wireless Mighty Mouse: Now with lasers!

Apple's new Mighty Mouse also added laser tracking.
Apple’s new Mighty Mouse also added laser tracking.
Photo: Feureau/Wikipedia CC

Users loved the Mighty Mouse. It faced only minor criticisms for things like the inability to click both right and left buttons at the same time (which continues with Apple’s current mice), and the fact that the scroll ball eventually became clogged with dirt and required cleaning.

Unlike the wired version, twin AA batteries powered the wireless Mighty Mouse. Apple claimed the new laser tracking, which replaced the original device’s optical tracking, made the Bluetooth mouse 20 times more accurate.

The wireless version cost $69 (plus whatever you’d spend topping up the AA batteries). The Apple Magic Mouse superseded it in October 2009.

Did you own this particular Apple mouse? What is your favorite Apple mouse in history? Leave your comments below.

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