The first computer mouse was invented way back in 1968. Mouse mats soon followed. They are practical computer accessories which allow users to utilize their "mice" effectively, without needing to strain too much! The first mouse mat was made a year after the computer mouse was invented and mouse mats remain popular with computer owners today.
In fact, it's rare to find a home or office which features a computer that doesn't have a mouse mat close by. They are necessary and serve an important purpose.
While materials have evolved with technology, mouse mats have always made it easier to enjoy ergonomic performance while utilizing computer mice.
Mouse Mats Move Into the Future
During the late 70s, Xerox, which is known for producing the first photocopiers, also broke ground by creating a mouse mat known as a CRT Cursor Control Mechanism Pad. It was designed to help with operating a tube pointer for a cathode ray.
When the tube pointer's metal ball was rolled on the pad, which was crafted from rubbery materials with a lot of resilience, the ball would work exactly as it was supposed to. The base of the mouse mat featured sixteen rubbery pads and this kept the mouse mat from slipping around while in usage. It's still important that mouse mats be very stable.
Xerox's ball mouse mats were in wide usage by the early 80s.
A bit later on, during the same decade, a company named Mousetrak stepped into the fray and began manufacturing mouse mats for customers. Moustrak was launched by Bob McDermond and the firms began to become successful when Apple execs made the decision to distribute Moustrak mouse mats which featured the Apple logo to computer shops in America.
As well, Moustrak moved forward to even greater success when it began to sign lucrative licensing deals for novelty mouse mats with a variety of blue-chip entertainment companies, including LucasFilm, Paramount and Disney.
The novelty mouse mats were advertised heavily in computer publications and elsewhere.
By the end of the 80s, tons of companies were producing mouse mats. They became very cheap to make, so they represented good business opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, the quality of some of these cheaply-produced mouse mats was not as high as Moustrak quality.
Today, it's possible to find mouse mats at an array of quality levels and price points. We recommend choosing a design which is well-made, even if you have to spend a little more.