Apple pop-socket with an optical sensor turns your iPhone into a Magic Mouse!

It’s a pretty great idea in theory, and ties well into Apple‘s ecosystem of creating products that support each other and add to the collective experience. It’s also something fresh that would set Apple apart in the hardware space. Meet the Magic Mouse Mini, a concept created by Yongbin Kim who gave the smartphone pop-socket the ultimate upgrade by also fitting an optical sensor into it!

The Magic Mouse Mini looks and feels like your regular pop-socket. It attaches to the back of your phone, giving you a pop-out grip that you can firmly hold onto between your index and middle finger as you use your phone or click selfies. Given how large and slippery smartphones are nowadays (further factoring in the iPhone’s curved edges). However, a switch on the side turns the pop-out grip into something vastly more functional. Switch the device on, and the optical sensor above the Apple logo powers on, turning your iPhone into a magic mouse!

The iPhone and the socket at the back work in tandem to replicate the Magic Mouse experience. The optical sensor on the socket helps with cursor-tracking, while the iPhone’s touchscreen shoulders the responsibility of providing the control surface, allowing you to left-click, right-click, pinch, zoom, scroll, and do a variety of other gestures, just like you would on a Magic Mouse.

I’d surmise the Magic Mouse Mini concept would work remarkably well with iMacs and MacBooks, but would even probably do a pretty good job with iPads too! It’s a small, clever addon that helps your phone (by allowing you to grip it better), and helps your MacOS devices too, by giving you a Magic Mouse experience without having to shell out a hundred bucks for a new Magic Mouse. And yes, the presence of a socket on the back of your phone could give it an uneven surface, causing the mouse to potentially rock back and forth while you’re using it… but think of this less as a practicality and usability issue, and more as a clever way of turning an existing piece of hardware (your iPhone) into something absolutely new! After all, it’s just a concept, no?

Designer: Yongbin Kim

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Ex-Apple Engineer Admits that the Buttonless Mouse Came to Be by Accident

Apple Magic Mouse

Not all the innovative products that we use have been preplanned. Even Apple’s Magic Mouse, the world’s first multi-touch mouse, seems to have been created by accident, according to a former employee that was close to the matter.

Considering that even some songs and scientific breakthroughs came about by chance, it shouldn’t surprise us so much that a butonless, multi-touch mouse was created accidentally. Still, many thought that Apple’s Magic Mouse was the result of years of R&D. After 15 years since the mouse’s design was presented to Steve Jobs and 5 years since its launch, Abraham Farag, the former Apple Senior Mechanical of Product Design, admitted in an interview with CultofMac.com that the Magic Mouse was just a happy accident, and nothing really planned ahead.

Farag recalls that “It all started with a model we did not have time to finish. We had made six of these great form models to show Steve. They were fully done, with all the parting lines cut in for buttons and different plastic parts, and all the colors just right.” Besides these, the design team also designed a mouse that was meant to resemble the Topolino model that was sold prior to the one that looked just like a hockey puck.

The former Apple engineer explained that the prototype “looked like a gray blob. We were going to put that model into a box so people wouldn’t see it.” To everyone’s surprise, Steve Jobs didn’t like the five finished models, considering that they don’t bring anything revolutionary to the table. Instead, “Steve looked at the lineup of potential forms and made straight for the unfinished one,” as Farag stated. “That’s genius. We don’t want to have any buttons,” Jobs said, according to Farag.

“[Afterwards], Bart Andre, Brian Huppi and I left the room and huddled outside with each other, [saying] ‘how are we going to do that?’ Because of that unfinished model we had to invent a way to make a mouse with no buttons,” Farag recalls.

Call me skeptical, but it’s pretty easy to put words in someone’s mouth, especially when he is no longer among us. When the Magic Mouse was launched, Jobs was still alive, and I don’t think that anything could hit the market without being previously presented to him, but having him seem supernaturally innovative is a bit far-fetched. Yes, the Magic Mouse shares the simple design of modern Apple products, but I have some doubts about it being made by accident.

Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about the iOS app that measured how high people throw their iPhones and the Apple smart earbuds that track head gestures.

Apple gets patent for universal batteries, edges closer to long-lasting wireless peripherals

Apple gets patent for universal batteries, edges closer to longerlasting mice and keyboards

These days, just about every Apple product is defined by a non-removable battery. It's with no small hint of irony, then, that Apple just received a US patent for a universal removable battery system. As proposed, the technique would let Apple cut batteries from lithium-polymer or similar materials into commonly sized packs that could then be swapped between devices, providing all the benefits of removable, rechargeable batteries with a longer lifespan than an old set of AAs. Batteries could have serviceable cores for when they finally give up the ghost, and computers could even alternate between charging the batteries (when plugged in) or using them to extend the runtime of MacBooks. We'd recommend against basing any purchasing strategy around Apple's filing, though. The Cupertino team originally applied for the patent in 2010, and in turn broke out the technology from a patent it had filed in 2007 -- there's no guarantees Apple is still interested in replacing those disposables, let alone any sealed-in batteries. That won't stop us from yearning for the day when a Magic Mouse lasts for more than a week of heavy use.

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Apple gets patent for universal batteries, edges closer to long-lasting wireless peripherals originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 22:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Carbon Fiber Magic Mouse

Carbon Fiber Magic Mouse

As its name suggests, the Carbon Fiber Magic Mouse is actually the Apple Magic Mouse that has been given the carbon fiber treatment. The carbon fiber adds a textured weave to the multitouch surface of your Magic Mouse, allowing your fingers to point, scroll and swipe with ease. Available in Black, Graphite, Silver or White, the Carbon Fiber Magic Mouse retails for $99. You can also send in your Apple Magic Mouse and they will precisely cover it in carbon fiber vinyl for only $29. [Product Page]