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Microsoft's next Arc Mouse may fold even further

Microsoft Arc Mouse
Microsoft Arc Mouse (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A Microsoft patent for a foldable mouse was recently published.
  • The patent shows a mouse that folds more than the already existing Microsoft Arc Mouse.
  • Microsoft could create a mouse that folds all the way around into a compact shape.

Microsoft could potentially be working on a new foldable mouse. A recently published patent shows a mouse that can fold to be easier to carry around (via WindowsUnited). This may sound familiar, as Microsoft also makes an Arc Mouse that folds. Unlike that mouse, the patent describes an input device that can fold all the way over onto itself.

The currently available Arc Mouse can either lay flat or pop up into an arched configuration. In contrast, the device described in the patent could fold around in a way similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. This wouldn't reduce the mass of the mouse, of course, but it would allow a device to fit into different pockets and bags.

The abstract of the patent reads:

A foldable computer mouse is provided that includes a deformable body configurable to be formed into a first expanded configuration usable for receiving inputs for controlling a computing device and a second folded configuration in which a first portion of the deformable body is folded over a second portion of the deformable body. The mouse also includes an input sensor disposed on the deformable body and configured to detect tactile input, a motion tracking component disposed on the deformable body and configured to detect movement of the computer mouse, and a communications component configured to wirelessly communicate tactile input and motion tracking data to the computing device.

As is the case with all patent filings, Microsoft may never make a device that utilizes this design. The patent was filed on March 30, 2021 and published on November 4, 2021.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

9 Comments
  • Who needs to carry a mouse around?
  • I do. As a consultant, I often do heavy XLS or PPT work while at a client's site. Working 8hrs on a track pad is not great.
  • I can agree. Precision touchpads are very nice, no doubt, but using them 24/7 is an easy way to get carpal tunnel later in life.
  • The latest evidence I've seen suggests that using a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad don't actually cause CTS, with little distinction between mouse and trackpad. Fatigue and pain in the hand, wrist, and arm aren't uncommon but are usually from doing something too much and doing it improperly. So, I guess the rule of thumb (pun) is: if it hurts, don't do that (find a more ergonomic way).
  • I may want/need to carry my own laptop around, but I can use any old mouse that a client happens to have lying around--and they always have them, or I can just leave one there for a time. Yes, I have in the past just tossed one of my own into the bag to carry around, but I don't see how this one improves any of that. Nowadays, I've gotten used to using good trackpads, so they don't bother me much. But I understand the preference--to each his/her own.
  • I find my current Surface Arc Touch mouse sufficiently bendy. And laying flat for stowage seems more useful than this design.
  • I want them to bring back haptic feedback to the Arc Mouse. The first gen arc mouse had fantastic haptic feedback, it made scrolling feel so much more natural.
  • Kind of agree with you here. It was nice to sort off feel the 'click wheel' on that old thing. They put haptic fed back in the slim pen for pete's sake. Why not the mouse. My joy with the Arc Mouse is that the thing shuts off when you flatten it. That's easier to remember than flipping a mouse over a toggling a switch. The fact it fits more places is a bonus.
  • Yeah. Agree. I have both last generation surface arc and the new generation. I prefer the scrolling on the old one where you can flick up or down and it scrolls fast with a decent clicking sound that can be adjusted. 2 things that would also be great for a new arc mouse is to curve the sides so it's more ergonomic in the hand and make it wireless charging. Would be great to be able to lay it flat and put it on top of my surface pro, have it attach with magnets and charge.