Born Jan 30 1925
X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System Computer Mouse
Patent Number(s) 3,541,541
Douglas Engelbart's patent for the mouse is only a representation of his pioneering working designing modern interactive computer environments.
A main concern for
Engelbart was how the computer could be used as a useful tool in tomorrow's office. While at SRI, he developed a hypermedia groupware system called NLS (oN-Line System). NLS utilized two-dimensional computerized text editing, and the mouse, used to position a pointer into text, was a critical component. During a 1968 demonstration, Engelbart first introduced NLS--this was the world debut of the mouse, hypermedia, and on-screen video teleconferencing. His project became the second host on Arpanet, predecessor of the Internet.
Engelbart’s computer mouse originally used parallel wheels to facilitate movement, but this changed in 1972 when Bill English, builder of Engelbart’s first mouse, invented the ball mouse which is still used today. This mouse was more versatile than the original because it could rotate in any direction. Engelbart’s original invention is continuously being updated to include a wide range of products such as optical mice and laser mice.
Engelbart was born and grew up near Portland, Oregon. He served in the Navy as an electronics technician during World War II, and received his B.S. from Oregon State University. After working for NASA's Ames Research Laboratory, he received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He then joined the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), earning a number of patents related to computer components.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Engelbart was a Senior Scientist at Tymshare, Inc., later acquired by McDonnell-Douglas. In 1989, he founded The Bootstrap Institute, which promotes the development of collective IQ through worldwide computer networks.