I still remember when I used my first wheel mouse, I immediately thought it was the best invention in history, even above the mouse itself. So I accustomed to drag the documents with the scroll bar, which really cost me to adapt.
But soon my fingers became accustomed, and the sound of the mechanism flooded the house; It would go down through the documents faster than I could read, zoom in on the viewer, or switch weapons in a shooter. Since then the mice have improved a lot; Moving the wheel no longer requires gaining muscle on the index finger and no longer makes so much noise.
The mouse wheel, an invention with many inventors
However, the concept of the wheel and its operation in operating systems has not changed much. The funny thing is that it had been for the person who devised it, we would actually be using the wheel in a completely different way. At least that assures Jack McCauley, one of the many inventors of the mouse wheel.
That is the thing, that we do not really know for sure if he is the inventor; There are so many people who assure the same, who have so many patents in hand showing similar concepts, that is impossible to know.
Probably there was not really a single person who came up with the idea, even older patents do not look so much like what we use today. Like many other innovations, it probably was born as a different concept that was gradually changing to the present form.
In addition, it is not as if Jack McCauley was the typical “troll of patents” who has invented nothing in his entire life.
This was to be the true function of the mouse wheel
We’re talking about the creator of Guitar Hero peripherals. Yes, the game that made us believe that we were rock stars with toy guitars. At the moment, McCauley is the chief engineer of Oculus, the company he co-founded.
According to an interview, McCauley gave to IGN, the idea he had for the mouse wheel was very different from the current one.
Instead of using it to move vertically, the wheel would serve to change the depth of the application. That is, in addition to changing the coordinates X and Y with the cursor, we could change the coordinate Z.
McCauley does not expand what this would be like, but it is easy to imagine; For example, in a three-dimensional interface, with several windows arranged one on top of another, the wheel would serve to pass from one to another.
This idea was probably born when the operating system interfaces had not yet reached maturity. So then a 3D interface that we could navigate would sound futuristic but plausible.
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