Microsoft Arc Mouse

Lead Designer
Prize(s)1st Place in Media And Home Electronics / Home Computers
Entry Description

The Microsoft Arc is an innovative wireless notebook mouse intended for mobile laptop users. With its clever hinge design, the Arc mouse reduces by almost half for portability when it is snapped shut, but provides comfort similar to a desktop mouse when opened to its full size.

The first challenge with the Microsoft Arc program was to address the fundamental dichotomy of a mobile mouse. A mobile mouse inherently presents a dilemma as it requires a compact form that can be easily stowed, but large enough to fill up the volume of a palm in order to provide comfort. From the start, mobility and ergonomics are at odds.

The second challenge was to re-envision the input market for younger laptop users. Almost by default, input devices are designed as “techy” gadgets and the notebook mouse market is littered with devices that look to be designed with the corporate office in mind. But the laptop market continues to grow-- teenagers, college students and young professionals make up a substantial percentage of the market. Before Arc, their life and work-styles were not addressed by market offerings.

To solve the dilemma of mobility and ergonomics, Arc cleverly integrates a common mechanism, the cell phone hinge, into a new product category. The hinged tail enables the mouse to collapse to nearly half its volume for storing. Yet, when it is open, the elegant arcing form (from which the name is derived) provides a continuous surface that comfortably fills the palm. Unlike many ergonomic mice, Arc is ambidextrous. The hinge also creates storage for the USB transceiver that magnetically attaches to the underside of the tail and is locked in place when the mouse is closed. As a bonus, the hinge enables Arc to clip to the pocket of a bag for easy locating next time it’s needed.

The Arc mouse has been established as a new input icon that has gained tremendous attention in the young, mobile segment. In order to capture their attention, Arc was conceived as a personal accessory rather than a computer peripheral. The mouse is available in a luscious jewel-tone palette of white, black, red, blue, green and purple. The distinct arc form, playful interaction and wide-ranging color palette resonates with younger customers who view their product ecosystem, whether it includes a watch, sunglasses, or a notebook mouse, as a reflection of their unique personal style.