Mousepad. Who and when invented it?

    Modern rugs may look like this (Source:

    Mouse pad is the most popular accessory for computer and laptop users. It has become so familiar element of the desktop that we do not even think about when and how it appeared. Many of us know who invented the mouse, the modern keyboard and many other well-known devices and systems. What was the name of the person who invented the mouse pad and brought it to the market?

    The inventor worked for a long time in the aviation industry and was not associated with computers. Once he accidentally met the founders of Apple, which led to the creation of an accessory familiar to all of us. Without exaggeration, this accident can be called historical.

    Mouse Pad and Apple Macintosh

    Apple Macintosh played a huge role in the popularization of the mouse - not the first computer that came with the mouse, but made it an essential accessory of almost any PC.

    The inventor of the mouse is known - this is Douglas Engelbart . He created several types of pointing devices, including a device similar to modern styluses. After working with prototypes, the mouse was chosen as the most convenient option.

    β€œIt was fast, and users made fewer mistakes,” explains the inventor.

    In 1984, a one-button mouse was shipped with the Macintoshand become mainstream. At the same time, developers and users realized that to ensure the normal operation of the mouse, a certain type of surface is needed - the manipulators did not work well on all surfaces.

    There were different solutions, but the best option offered by the company Moustrak. Its founder is a man named Bob McDermand. He himself does not consider himself the inventor of the mouse pad. He says that it is too strong a term to describe what he did. He claims to have heard of similar ideas that came before his own. Anyway, according to the New York Times , he is the inventor of the mouse pad. The term "mouse pad" (mouse pad), according to The Oxford English Dictionary appeared for the first time on August 25, 1983, in an InfoWorld publication.

    How did it all start?

    As is often the case, Mac-Dermend was at the right time in the right place. The inventor in the early 80s worked as an aircraft designer in California. His experience as an aviator helped him meet Steve Wozniak, who was fond of aviation and Steve Jobs (although he was not attracted to planes). In the end, both Steve handed Mac a prototype of Mac, an acquaintance. The future inventor of the mouse pad liked the computer, but he noticed an interesting thing - the mouse's performance for the Mac depended on the type of surface on which the device was moved.

    β€œI brought a computer to the office and set it on an oak table, where the mouse didn't work very well,” says McDermend. "Then I took it home, and the mouse worked perfectly on my glass top table."

    McDermend tested books, sheets of paper and a number of other things from a variety of materials. In the end, Mac-Dermend and his colleagues settled on polyester. This would be the most acceptable option for several reasons. Polyester is not too expensive, it is elastic, not slippery. Plus, the surface of the polyester mat could be applied to various patterns and patterns.

    One of the first printed rugs (Source: Amazon )

    Soon, the inventor entered into an agreement with a company that supplied rubber products to the market and received the first batch of polyester mouse pads. The decision turned out to be successful and in demand. After some time, the company Moustrak began to produce and sell millions of such rugs. Agreements were made with Disney, Paramount, and LucasFilm to create and sell branded rugs.

    There were also troubles. In some cases, the material of the rug entered into a chemical reaction with the coating of the table. This concerned, for example, a number of types of lacquers for countertops. Once, thousands of dollars had to be paid for the restoration of the table, the lacquered surface of which was damaged by a mouse pad. After this incident, the formula for the pad material has been changed.

    Seeing such success rugs, they began to produce and supply other companies. Many competitors appeared, and Moustrak tried to stand out for the quality of materials, originality of prints, and new ideas.

    The Moustrak ad said that third-party floor mats are similar to the original shape of the product. But only Moustrak creates rugs "with the best features and capabilities." The rugs were really good quality, and well-known organizations continued to enter into contracts with the company, including Hollywood studios. LucasFilm has become a long-term partner of Moustrak, creating the Star Wars universe. Mac-Dermend spent dozens of hours of his time on prints, trying to see the smallest details in the picture of the rug.

    The competition was helped by the fact that the inventor of the rug did not patent his product. Mac-Dermend says that he regrets a little about his decision, but in the 80s in Silicon Valley few people wanted to get involved with lawyers and the courts, this hampered the creative process.

    One time, the high quality of the floor mats helped to find partners and customers, but a few years later competitors entered the market with cheaper floor mats, which cost customers several times less than the original Moustrak. Appeared on the market and products manufacturers from China. Most people did not see the difference between the original product and the rugs of other companies, which cost several times less.

    The last rug was released by the company in 1997. The still existing site, which also sells mouse pads, is in no way affiliated with Mac-Dermend.

    Now the market presents a huge number of mouse pads for different types. There are, for example, mats for gamers that cost much more than regular ones. Gamers use mouse pads always. As they say, people familiar with this area, a specialized mouse + special pad - this is a gaming mouse, a reliable tool that will not let you down in the most responsible battles. But a specialized mouse without a rug - well, it's just a good mouse. Almost all professional cyber sportsmen take with them not only their own mouse and keyboard, but also their own mouse pad. And that says a lot.

    Rugs continue to use, they are bought and the owners of mice that can work on any type of surface. In many cases, buying a rug is more of a habit than a necessity. But it is unlikely that these accessories will soon leave the market. Whenever this happened, the name of the inventor of the mouse pad and the name of his company were forever part of the history of IT.

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