Xerox's PARC would once again play a role in the evolution of the mouse when, in the early 1980s, its Metaphor Computer Systems offshoot unveiled an advanced workstation computer called, appropriately enough, the Metaphor workstation.
The Metaphor was way cool because several of its components -- keyboard, keypad, and, yes, even a mouse -- communicated with one another wirelessly. Indeed, the Metaphor mouse was built by a young upstart called Logitech and is now considered the first commercially available cordless mouse. Unfortunately, the Metaphor suffered from an affliction that would plague several cordless mice to follow: Its IR technology required a clear line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver. Not the best setup in a typically chaotic workspace.