A new product listing for a Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse (product code RVF-00003, with an MRSP of around $70) has prompted speculation that the company are preparing their own rival to Apple’s Magic Mouse. istartedsomething spotted the scant details online, together with an arctouchmouse.com placeholder, and drew some tentative connections between the presumed new peripheral and the prototype multitouch mouse Microsoft demonstrated as part of their Mouse 2.0 research last year.
One such prototype, pictured above, had a similar arc-shaped profile to the current folding Arc mouse Microsoft offer. It used a curve of transparent plastic and frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) – whereby touching the surface changes the path of light bouncing within the plastic – to track multiple points of contact.
If legitimate, the new mouse could be an attempt by Microsoft to drive adoption of their touch/multitouch functionality that’s natively baked into Windows 7 but, so far, only of use to tablet PCs and laptops with multitouch trackpads. We’ll be keeping an eye out for any more news.