Though this device has been out of the bag for a while now, Microsoft is finally announcing the Arc Touch Mouse, along with specifics about its hardware and sales date. The bendy mouse works in either a popped up curved shape or flattens for carrying in your laptop bag (the Arc part of the moniker), and features a programmable capacitive touch strip that replaces the middle mouse button for scrolling (the Touch part of the name). It seems like Microsoft decided to stick with physical buttons for the left and right-click actions (something Microsoft Research can get behind), so don't be mislead into thinking that the entire clickable area of the mouse is touch-sensitive.
BlueTrack optical sensor technology, which they debuted in 2008 with the Explorer mouse series. BlueTrack allows the mouse to be used on rough and soft surfaces like carpet or wood without sensor errors, though unlike Logitech's Darkfield sensor, BlueTrack won't work on glass or shiny surfaces (last we checked). Still, the glowing blue light is visually neat.
We're still waiting to hear back from Microsoft about a test unit, and will get a quick look video up as soon as we get this in the office.
The Arc Touch mouse is available for pre-sale now online at Amazon and Best Buy for $70, though it won't ship until December and will be in brick and mortar stores in January 2011.
Image credits: Microsoft