Microsoft has finally unveiled the Arc Touch Mouse, and, it’s just as unconventional as the first one... The Arc Touch Mouse moulds itself from curved to flat, and can be used on nearly any surface, tracjing with its 2.4GHz Nano transceiver and Microsoft BlueTrack technology. The option of the flat position also makes the Arch Touch more portable than its predecessor. Featuring a Capacitive Touch and scroll sensitive strip, it completely does away with the mouse wheel, though Microsoft obviously tried to retain the effect – using haptic feedback to make little vibrations and a little speaker to make little clicks, all to simulate the feel of a mouse wheel.
Sleek eye-candy, the Arc Touch Mouse is 15mm thick and certainly a fashion statement, and does offer a new ways to interact with the computer, with its touch and scroll sensitive strip and haptic feedback. Even the flat position would have been an interesting way to control the mouse, if Microsoft had built that also into the design (it's active only in curved mode). Though some fear the 'new' only means it will be hard to get used too, it’s the same story for any new input technology, whether it is motion sensing or trackpad. The Arc Touch Mouse apparently went through 50 prototype designs to create, and the consensus over the web is that while the mouse might not be just perfect yet, it does point to a new path for mice everywhere, leaving us looking forward to even more innovative designs and interface possibilities in the near future.
The Arc mouse is of course, wireless – using two AAA batteries for power that apparently last six months on a single charge.
It’s available for pre-order right now at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Buy.com, with a suggested retail price of $69.95. The Arc Touch Mouse ships December, and will be broadly available online and in stores this January. Check out other wireless mice here.