For many years, a mouse had a trackball underneath that rolled as you moved your hand back and forth. The trackball movement was then sent to the connected computer to move the mouse pointer around the screen. In order to roll, the trackball had to move on a surface that had some friction to push against. This is what a mouse mat provides.
A Mouse is mainly optical technology based these days and so a mouse mat is no longer essential.
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Click on this link: Mouse Mat