What Is the Structure of a Computer Mouse?

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The structure of a computer mouse depends on the type of mouse, as an optical mouse uses a laser to transfer the information and a ball mouse uses a rolling ball to transmit information to the computer. Understand both optical and ball mouses with information from an experienced software developer in this free video on computers.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Information
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to talk to you about the structure of a computer mouse. Now there's really two different types of mice that are out on the market right now and that is an optical mouse and a ball mouse. I have an optical mouse here and you can typically tell if a mouse is an optical mouse because it will have a little red laser light here and when it says optical it really means optical. There is a light sensor inside of the mouse that will detect when this laser reflects off of the surface that the mouse is being moved on. Now my finger looks fairly smooth but obviously I have fingerprints and there's ridges, there's some kind of texture here and that mouse laser will bounce off of the texture of my finger back into the mouse where a light sensor detects it and can judge how the mouse is moving based upon those textures. Now I have a diagram here of a ball mouse which is sort of the older style mouse before optical mice came out. And as you can see, this is the mouse casing here, there's the bottom and there's the top and here's all the stuff that goes inside. You have a ball that sits inside the mouse that sort of protrudes slightly and as you set the mouse down, that ball goes back in but it rubs against the surface that you're moving the mouse on. Now inside the innards, there are two little wheels basically that rub against the side of this ball so as this ball turns, it will also turn these wheels because it's obviously right next to each other kind of like a gear would turn almost and those will in turn turn the gear work inside of the mouse and that will translate the way this ball is moving into digital signals that can be transfered over to the computer. And that's how the ball mouse knowns that it's being moved around on the surface. My name is Dave Andrews and I've just told you a little bit about the structure of a computer mouse.


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