There are no pictures of the invisible mouse, because the mouse itself doesn't exist. It's just an infrared laser beam and an infrared camera tracking your hand from the side of a laptop. Could this be the next Apple mouse?

If only to be able to use the name Invisible Mouse, I can imagine Steve Jobs introducing it: "The next mouse is no mouse! BOOM!" However, Mouseless—the actual name for this device—was not developed by anyone at Cupertino, but by a Pranav Mistry, a research assistant and PhD candidate at the Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab. Pranav is the same researcher who created the Sixth Sense computer interface..

Unlike Sixth Sense, his new Mouseless doesn't need any special gloves or markings. The IR laser beam has a line cap, and it's positioned in such a way that it creates a plane on the table in which the computer is positioned. The plane illuminates your fingers as they make contact with the table surface, and the IR camera tracks those contact points. When the user "clicks", the camera also detects the move and registers it.

It's a pretty simple concept, but it seems to work perfectly in the demo. Total cost of the prototype: $20. Seems like the kind of device that could be mass-manufactured and built-in in every computer for peanuts. [Pranav Mistry]