Sure, we touch our computer’s mouse all day. But are we all prepared to get deeply intimate with it?

Rubbing and swiping are just some of the actions Microsoft and other companies are suggesting we do with new devices such as the Touch Mouse, which is set to debut in June but is getting exposed this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Hrvoje Benko is one of Microsoft’s visionaries in gesture-control technology. Call him Mouse 2.0 man, after the 2009 research project where he demonstrated a variety of new kinds of computer mice. The Microsoft researcher has been trying to come up with a new kind of mouse that integrates the features of popular new user interfaces such as touchscreens.

The result is the Touch Mouse for Windows 7 computers. By allowing you to do finger gestures on top of the surface of the mouse, the capacitive touch technology can speed up your navigation of your computer, Benko says. The Touch Mouse allows for easy switching between apps. You can rub the side of the mouse or swipe across the surface with a couple of fingers.

It resembles Apple’s Magic Mouse, but Benko says it has different features and gestures. You can do things like switch tasks or move to the desktop view by using a single swipe gesture. That means you can probably use the keyboard less and won’t have to keep closing windows in order to get to the desktop.

It looks pretty well done to me, and Benko says that the company has taken pains to avoid accidental gestures, which are the bane of touch pads on laptops. Check out the video of Benko below.


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