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Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 08:50 am PT (11:50 am ET)

Apple takes wraps off new multi-touch Bluetooth Magic Mouse

Apple on Tuesday released what the company heralded as the first-ever multi-touch mouse, a new product called the Magic Mouse, the successor to the Mighty Mouse.

Apple said that the new multi-touch hardware allows customers to navigate using intuitive finger gestures instead of mechanical buttons, scroll wheels or scroll balls. The entire top surface of the Magic Mouse is a multi-touch surface that can track independent fingers.

The new hardware comes with the new iMac and is priced for standalone purchase at $69.

"Apple is the Multi-Touch leader, pioneering the use of this innovative technology in iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpads," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Apple's Multi-Touch technology allows us to offer an easy to use mouse in a simple and elegant design."

The Magic Mouse is said to feature a seamless touch-sensitive enclosure that allows it to be a single or multi-button mouse with advanced gesture support. Using intuitive gestures, users can easily scroll through long documents, pan across large images or swipe to move forward or backward through a collection of web pages or photos. Magic Mouse works for left or right handed users and multi-button or gesture commands can be easily configured from within System Preferences.

The Magic Mouse laser tracking engine provides a smooth, consistent experience across more surfaces than a traditional optical tracking system. Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth wireless capabilities to create a clean, cable-free desk top and its secure wireless connection works from up to 10 meters away. To extend battery performance, Magic Mouse includes an advanced power management system that works with Mac OS X to automatically switch to low power modes during periods of inactivity. The wireless Magic Mouse is powered by two AA batteries which are included.

iMac


Earlier this month, AppleInsider revealed that Apple was planning a makeover of its wireless mouse with multi-touch technology. It, along with a new wireless keyboard, were revealed in a subsequent filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The hardware previously carried the Mighty Mouse moniker, but that trademark was handed to the company Man & Machine earlier this month. Years ago, the small accessory maker sued both Apple and CBS for use of the name Mighty Mouse, which the peripheral company has used for its own dishwasher-safe computer mouse.