Wheel Mouse Inventor says it was Not Intended for Scrolling

“The wheel on the mouse scrolls up and down, up and down…”

Or so it goes something like that, probably minus the limerick.

However, it turns out scrolling up and down the computer screen with the wheel on the mouse was not the original intention of its inventor Jack McCauley.

McCauley had considered the possibilities of the “hypothetical z-axis” long before most, and wanted a way to navigate it.

Cursors already allowed for moving along the x-axis and the y-axis of the screen, but McCauley wanted a way to move forward and into the application.

In effect exploring the z-axis with the mouse wheel.

Technology wasn’t quite there yet, and the wheel mouse ended up be used in other innovative ways.

Not that as an inventor, McCauley is likely to be all that concerned.

Especially since he’s the co-founder and chief engineer at Oculus. Which is now more fully exploring the z-axis and moving forward into immersive 3D virtual reality in ways a mouse, however wheel-equipped, simply couldn’t do.

He’s also the co-creator of the industry standard-defining Universal Serial Bus (USB), along with other computer and technology inventions and innovations.