8 years ago, Apple (helmed by Jony Ive) committed one of design’s biggest cardinal sins by taking a hatched to product usability. Sounds a little extreme, but ask anyone about Apple’s biggest design flaw and they’ll probably tell you how the Magic Mouse needs to be flipped over to charge, thus rendering it absolutely unusable. The flaw is so hilariously bad that most people even overlook the fact that the Magic Mouse is the least ergonomic mouse to begin with. Its ultra-sleek design is perfect for slipping into laptop bags, but it’s a nightmare for anyone with carpal tunnel, and even generally, makes for a horrible gripping experience (resulting in people designing pretty clever ergonomic grips for the Magic Mouse).
Many a DIY-er has tried fixing both the ergonomic and charging problems, but failed at the latter… but Ivan Kuleshov thinks he may have finally cracked the code. His solution? A redesigned shell for the Magic Mouse that doesn’t just fix the infamous charging issue but also enhances its ergonomic feel. The new design allows for upright charging through a USB-C port, a simple yet effective fix that Apple seemingly overlooked.
Designer: Ivan Kuleshov
Kuleshov’s design does the unthinkable – lets you use your Magic Mouse while charging it. Apple apparently engineered a failsafe into its mouse that disabled usage during charging (something that designer Matt Benedetto figured out the hard way), but Kuleshov’s solution circumvents that by technically ‘hacking’ the mouse.
The journey wasn’t straightforward. Existing 3D models of the Magic Mouse fell short, pushing Kuleshov to adjust the enclosure shape by eye, iterating through multiple prints and adjustments. This process epitomized the trial-and-error spirit inherent in DIY projects. He crafted a frame-adapter for the upper part of the mouse in just four iterations, meticulously designed to extend the original mount. This adaptation allowed for a spring and an offset lever to press the button, integrating seamlessly with the mouse’s design.
Kuleshov didn’t stop at mere design modifications. He tackled the electrical challenge head-on, soldering a TP4056 directly to the battery outputs, ensuring the mouse continued to work while charging. This modification enabled the mouse to bypass Apple’s standard charging protocol, a nifty workaround to a long-standing problem.
After numerous trials, Kuleshov finally achieved the ideal enclosure shape. It charges the battery directly, and despite its increased size, the mouse’s sensor still makes contact with the table, ensuring precise movement. Kuleshov labels it as “the world’s first ergonomic Magic Mouse without any flaws,” and while this might be a bold statement (given its slightly bulky appearance), it seems to be a significant improvement from a practical standpoint.
Kuleshov took to Twitter (or whatever Musk wants you to call it) to showcase his rather complicated but functional redesign. The internet’s consensus seems mixed, but with everyone on the same page. While most people are marveling at this new modification, calling it a truly “magical” mouse, others are applauding Kuleshov’s ingenuity while also commenting on the fact that this level of ‘hacking’ was even necessary to undo a simple problem that Apple seemingly engineered on purpose into their product. To make things better, Kuleshov has made his entire project open-source and tinkerers can download the files on GitHub to modify their own Magic Mice…
I hacked the Magic Mouse.
And created the world’s first ergonomic Magic Mouse with no weaknesses.
Yes, you can charge it via USB-C right while you’re working!
More details + demo in the thread pic.twitter.com/lxvCXArZdG
— Ivan Kuleshov (@Merocle) November 16, 2023