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Computer mouse faces extinction

Nearly 40 years after its invention, the humble computer mouse is likely to be phased out, according to industry experts.

Mouse

Within the next three to five years the functionality of the computer mouse will become redundant, according to Gartner.

Advances in computing power are enabling the emergence of practical alternative user interfaces based on gestures, movement and facial recognition, according to the analyst firm.

Gartner's report found that companies such as Microsoft and Intel and Apple are promoting gestural interfaces for future use.

It also found that consumer entertainment companies such as Sony, Panasonic and NEC are demonstrating applications using facial and movement recognition.

Analyst at Gartner and author of the report Steve Prentice declared that using a mouse within desktop environments was fine, but "for home entertainment or working on a notebook it's over."

However, there are some in the industry that believe Gartner's predictions are jumping the gun.

George Foot, director of sales and marketing at Kensington believes that gestural interfaces have advanced, there is still room for the humble mouse.

"There will undoubtedly be change, driven by technology. Just look at the impact the Wii has had and how Wi-Fi has changed how and where we work. People need to be able to use and interact with their data as efficiently as possible, but new multifunctional mice have proven more than capable of meeting this need."

"Gartner's predictions for the end of the mouse are ahead of their time. The mouse is an integral part of how we interact with our PCs and will continue to be for the foreseeable future."

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