Since their invention in 1969, mouse pads have remained one of the most important computer accessories. Without them, using a mouse can become an unnecessarily difficult task, as they aid in the smooth movement of the mouse and provide wrist support. Despite their importance, they are often seen as boring items, but this is not the case. Here are some interesting facts about mouse pads that you might not know.
1. Apple helped popularize them
Moustrak, founded by Bob McDermand, was the first company to produce mouse pads, but their popularity was boosted by a partnership with Apple that led to Moustrak’s mouse pads having the Apple logo on them. Thanks to this branding, mouse pads quickly became a staple computer accessory.
2. They weren’t known as “mouse pads” until 1983
Despite being invented in 1969, the term “mouse pad” was not commonly used for over a decade. Before then, their names depended on who was talking about them. For example, “Moustrak” was not only the name of the company but also what they called the mouse pads they produced.
3. They’re often called “mouse mats” in the UK
Many words change slightly between the US and the UK, and mouse pad is no different. Interestingly, the British term wasn’t used until 1989, six years after “mouse pad” became common in the US.
4. They can be damaged by heat
High temperatures can cause mouse pads to melt, as they are often made of rubber. You should avoid leaving them in the sun for long periods of time to keep them in good condition.
5. They should be cleaned regularly
This one might be surprising, until you think about how often you touch a mouse pad. Oil from your hands can wear down the surface, reducing your mouse pad’s lifespan. This can be avoided by washing it in cold water every once in a while.
6. Some can charge wireless mice or smartphones
A few companies have created mouse pads that are plugged into an outlet, allowing wireless mice or smartphones to be continuously charged as long as they are on the mouse pad. However, these mouse pads are quite expensive, often costing over $100.
7. They’re great for promotional marketing
Mouse pads owe their popularity to Apple, and that promotional capability hasn’t changed. Because they can have any image printed on them, mouse pads function as promotional space. They last a long time, and they’re seen every time someone uses their computer. This makes them a great marketing tool for brands.
Mouse pads are simple accessories, but their history and usage can be quite interesting. While mouse pads can feel outdated at times, many companies continue to find interesting ways to utilize them and increase their capabilities with new technology.
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