Microsoft Launches Arc Mouse: Most Wildly Designed Mouse Ever

We're beginning to think that 2010 is the year of new mice. Or should we say, unconventional mice. First was Swiftpoint with their finger-based notebook mouse, and now there's Microsoft with their Arc Touch Mouse. The design on this one is totally new, and even old-school mouse users will probably need a few moments just to wrap their head around what's going on here.

It's the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort, featuring a capacitive touch scroll strip allowing you to swiftly navigate with the touch of a finger. This may be the beginning of the end for the scroll wheel, no? As you'd expect, Microsoft has also included a tiny Nano transceiver and Microsoft’s BlueTrack Technology allowing you to track on virtually any surface. It's probably the most alluring travel mouse we've seen yet, or at least the most interesting.

We get the feeling the software will work best on a Windows-based PC, as Microsoft has included this line in the release: "Windows-based PC users will love packing up their laptop bags without the added bump of a mouse, as the Arc Touch Mouse flattens with just the touch of a finger." The entire device is less than 15mm thick and it goes from curved to flat with one simple movement. You'll need two AAA batteries, but they'll supposedly last around six months on a charge. The new Arc Mouse won't ship until early December, but you can set aside the $69.95 now.

Think the Mouse Is Dead? Think Again With Microsoft’s Arc Touch Mouse
Microsoft’s newest mouse flattens to be the ultimate portable device.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 1, 2010 — Some say the mouse’s days are numbered, but today Microsoft Corp. proves the gadget is alive and well by unveiling the Arc Touch Mouse, the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort. The new mouse features Microsoft’s first touch scroll strip for easy navigation — just move a finger slowly for controlled scrolling or flick for hyperfast scrolling. Windows-based PC users will love packing up their laptop bags without the added bump of a mouse, as the Arc Touch Mouse flattens with just the touch of a finger.

As the computing landscape evolves to offer new ways of interacting, such as touch screens and touch pads, the mouse is also evolving but holds true to its core purpose: providing comfort and precision to users when navigating the PC.

“This is not the first time that the mouse has been threatened — look at 10 years ago when people started buying laptops that had integrated pointers and touch pads. Still, the mouse category continued to grow and grow,” said Brett Ostrum, general manager for the Hardware Group at Microsoft. “The reasons people need external mice will not change: comfort and precision. The Arc Touch Mouse just demonstrates again how committed Microsoft is to continuing to bring great new mice to consumers.”
Arc Touch Mouse
Arc Touch Mouse
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Designed for the Mobile Lifestyle

People today are using mobile computers more than ever, and they still want comfort and control when using them. In fact, one-third of mobile PC buyers also purchase a mouse with their new notebooks or netbooks.1 And, at less than 15 millimeters thick at its widest point, the Arc Touch Mouse was designed to deliver ultimate portability to easily slip into a bag, purse or pocket. It also goes from curved to flat with one simple movement, so working on the go is easier than ever — just collapse the Arc Touch Mouse to turn it off, and pop it up to turn on. It’s also extremely durable, tested to ensure years of performance.

Take Control With Touch Scrolling

With the Arc Touch Mouse’s touch strip, consumers can take control of their scrolling with a flick of a finger. Using a capacitive sensing technique and sensor pads, the strip corresponds to each position and velocity change to give users accurate, controlled scrolling no matter how fast or slow the movement. Move a finger slowly on the strip for controlled scrolling, or flick a finger for hyperfast scrolling that can be stopped with just a simple tap. The strip also has three tap “buttons” for added functionality: page up, page down and the middle click area, which is reprogrammable for whatever mouse function the user needs most.2 Switching from a scroll wheel to a touch strip is made easier with haptics, a vibration technology that simulates the bumps users would feel while using a traditional scroll wheel.

Additional Features

The Arc Touch Mouse is equipped with BlueTrack Technology, letting consumers track on virtually any surface,3 and a tiny magnetic snap-in Nano transceiver stores conveniently on the bottom of the mouse. Two AAA batteries give the Arc Touch Mouse more than six months of battery life, and the two-color battery life indicators let people know when the power is running low.

Pricing and Availability

Arc Touch Mouse will be available for the estimated retail price of $69.95 (U.S.)4. It is available now for presale on, and, and it will ship in early December in time for the U.S. holiday season. It will be broadly available online and in stores in January 2011.
Via:  Microsoft
inspector 4 years ago

Interesting design, How does it stay popped up like that and still be able to flatten down?

fat78 4 years ago

it seems portable but also seems like it would be uncomfortable.

animatortom 4 years ago

So its like those snap bracelets that tweens wear?

Now that would be an interesting concept, if they had a snap watch, that was also a smart phone, and a mouse:P

The last iteration of the Arc was just as uninteresting. It is more for people who want aesthetics over functionality! Anything over a few hours on the computer will probably lead to support of the carpel tunnel first aid business.

acarzt 4 years ago

I don't like the reinvention of the wheel. I like the feel of the clicks when scrolling my mouse.

It makes weapon changes in games a breeze.

inspector 4 years ago

Well i don't think this will be much for gaming... so the clicking isn't really needed when all you use it for is scrolling down a website :D. Also i know what u mean :), without the clicking i would scroll 5 pass the weapon i need... :D

slugbug 4 years ago

An interesting design to be sure.

fat78 4 years ago

i would love to try the rat 9 mouse, now that is a mouse built for gaming..... but for 150 i can wait untill it drops.

rapid1 4 years ago

Odd but a cool concept. I can definitely see great points design wise. We will just have to see how it works in the real world. We have seen some pretty weird looking mouse concepts some of which even though doubted upon release worked pretty well.

realneil 4 years ago

I'd like to just try it out once or twice. If it works well then maybe it would be a good gift for my wife. I like traditional mice myself.

Nethersprite 4 years ago

Interesting concept, but shame on Microsoft for taking the logical next step. Why stop at the binary flat/curved design? Why not make the mouse body moldable, as it were, to fit a wider variety of hands? Sort of like an organic R.A.T. maybe? It shouldn't be too hard to do.

hitech 4 years ago

That looks very smart and interesting. There is a good review about it.

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