Does Apple want to replace your mouse with an iPod Touch?

A patent filed by Apple shows what could be the next evolution of the company's line of mice: a touchscreen device with its own built-in processor. Of course, you could already be rocking a touch surface using Apple's Magic Mouse (essentially just an external trackpad, which is a little redundant for laptop users), but this patent still makes you wonder.

There's no telling how large the display would be if incorporated into a form factor like the Magic Mouse. Knowing Apple, though, it'd be the entirety of the work surface rather than just a little LED ticker. The patent indicates that the touchscreen mouse would also have integrated app support, so, say, you could see the Angry Bird you're getting ready to fling or the numbers for a calculator right there on the mouse.

That makes you wonder how you'd use it, though. It sounds more like something you'd pick up rather than leaning forward and looking down on. Or would the display be angled toward the user? Since it'd have it's own processor, it almost sounds like it'd be a watered down iPod Touch. Say, why can't I just use my iPod like a mouse already, anyway?

It'll be interesting to see if the Magic Mouse-like touchscreen ever gets off the ground. As someone who has never bought any Apple mouse, ever (took 'em long enough to figure out two buttons are better than one), this actually has me curious.

Via TUAW

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