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A mouse is a computer hardware input device that controls cursor movements on the screen of a computer (Price, 2011). It is a tiny object that is rolled along a flat and hard surface to control the pointer on the screen. The name was derived from its size since it resembles a mouse and it has also a long tiny wire that resembles the tail of a mouse. The computer mouse moves the cursor on the screen in the same direction to which the user moves it. Mice composed of at least one button and at most three buttons each with dissimilar functions depending on the program it runs. The advanced mice also have a wheel that is used for scroll the pages up and down in the documents (Burnett-Stuart & Taylor, 2001).
Bardini (2000) indicated that Douglas Engelbart, a researcher in the Stanford Research Center invented the first mice in 1963 and was later pioneered by Xerox in 1970s. The three basics types of mice include; mechanical which hasa metal ball or a rubber underneath that roll at 360 degrees. It is fitted with mechanical sensors that automatically detect the direction of the ball and in turn move the cursor as directed by the user. Secondly, the optomechanical mouse resembles the mechanical mouse but detect the direction of the cursor by use of optical sensors. Lastly, there is the optical mouse that detects the direction of the cursor using laser. Unlike others, the optical mouse has got no mechanical moving parts and they are quicker than the opto-mechanical and mechanical mice (Price, 2011).
Market need and Product Design Specification.
The market need of the computer mouse is very dynamic with the bulging technology. However, before a consumer makes a purchase, there are various factors to consider. Firstly, it is comparative to consider the price of the item, condition and the purchasing purposes. There are variety of options that a client can chose from incase of a purchase is to be made. In the old days, before the GUI, computer was operated through text commands. Therefore, to use a computer by then, one needed to have a computer programmer. The Apple GUI discovery allowed the user to enjoy the unparalleled productivity improvements. Currently, the new interface provides the user with easy time and fewer sills to work with a computer (McCarthy & Perreault, 1990).
However, the market demands of the mouse are on the rise with the advancements on the technology. According to the report by XXX and YYYY, there is a 41% rise in computer mouse unit sales from the month of May 1998 to May 1999. It indicates that more than 3.2 million mice were bought separately exclusive of those fixed with the new computer systems. This represented over $60 million dollars. Presently, Microsoft enjoys 22.8 % of the mouse in the market while Logitech and Kensington having 21.3 % and 6.6 % respectively (Cusumano & Selby, 2005). The rest is controlled by other manufactures worldwide.
The Product Design Specification can be categorized into two broad characteristics.
- Operational and Physical Characteristics
Performance requirements- the device must permit the user to access the computer fully at least 8 hours daily. It must also require least movements of the parts. The input device and thearm support must both function efficiently without unnecessary adjustments.
Safety- both the arm support and the input device should not irritate the user’s skin.
Accuracy and reliability-the cursor must move to where the client directs it while displaying extreme sensitivity.
Ergonomics- the device for arm support must have height than gets adjustable.
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