We just got our hands on Microsoft's new mobile peripheral, the Arc Touch Mouse, and it's so weird we couldn't help but make a first look video. We don't want to give away the surprise, so check out the video for more information on what makes the Arc Touch truly creative.
Microsoft hasn't said anything official as of yet, but it looks like the company is planning to release a version of the Arc mouse with multitouch input. The evidence is extensive and fairly convincing. First, Microsoft has registered the domain "arctouchmouse.com", which currently redirects to Bing. Several European retailers have started listing a "Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse" on their sites. The Redmond mostly software company was also known to be working on multitouch mouse concepts in their research division in 2009.
If this product does exist, what can we expect from it? Windows 7 does have multitouch functionality built right in, but most consumers don't have the hardware to take advantage of it. Even if the Arc Touch is just a PC clone of the Apple Magic Mouse, it will allow PC users a new set of experiences without buying an expensive multitouch PC.
The listings we mentioned earlier are showing the Arc Mouse as selling for about $70. Assuming that is a PC Magic Mouse, would you take a chance at that price point?
Ah, the fashion mouse. You know the one: It’s designed by the industrial design team of the moment, and it not only lets you move your PC’s cursor but also tells everyone that you care about Design (you know, with a capital D). Unfortunately, what this mouse tells anyone who knows about mice is that you’d rather use an incredibly uncomfortable device that looks cool than one that properly fits your paw and gives you good control over your cursor. Despite a more than competent laser-powered sensor, the Arc Mouse falls squarely in fashion-mouse territory.
The Arc is, ostensibly, designed to be a travel mouse, and its size and shape are indeed suited to that purpose. When you fold the back of the mouse up and snap the USB transmitter dongle into the magnetic receptacle, you get a mouse that’s small enough to fit in a pocket. That’s great and all, but it’s just not comfortable to use.