Microsoft preps laptop mice with new sensor

If you visit Microsoft’s peripherals site right now, you’ll see a teaser for what sounds like a new series of mice. The teaser video shows people using their mice on a variety of different surfaces, and it mentions “the technology that will go anywhere you do.” At the end, the teaser shows a pattern of blue eye-shaped areas on a black background and says simply, “9.9.08 Say Goodbye to Laser.”

Without giving Microsoft time to reveal specifics, the team at Engadget has dug up some dirt (and a couple of photos) on an upcoming Microsoft mouse. The mouse looks to be of the wireless kind, and it has a blue glow coming out of both its optical sensor and a ring under the edges of the mouse.

According to Engadget, this Blue Track mouse will feature “a blue LED combined with a wide-angle lens that’s supposed to work on more surfaces than laser and optical [mice].” The site goes on to say Microsoft will aim the technology at laptop mice only, which makes sense considering laser and red-LED mice work just fine on the majority of desks.

Comments closed
    • spacemanspiff
    • 11 years ago

    Why not Bluetooth, like the Wii uses. Then you wouldn’t need a surface at all.

      • SonicSilicon
      • 11 years ago

      oO? You may want to read up on modern computer input technology.

    • holophrastic
    • 11 years ago

    you know, it’s all garbage in my world. I’m using an excellent mx1000 laser mouse, and it works really well. It always did.

    However, I’m on a mouse pad anyway. I can’t use it on my desk for two very simple reasons.

    First, remember that gunk from the roller-ball days? It’s still exists. It just collects on the desk — which is disgusting. Roller-balls kept the surface clean by collecting the gunk.

    Second, running the mouse back and forth over the desk a few thousand times each day simply wears out the surface of my desk! I like my desk. I custom-built an 11-foot wide desk (by 3 feet deep).

    But hey, that’s just me.

      • Skrying
      • 11 years ago

      Good thing they’re making a laptop mouse not intended to replace your desktop mouse then…

    • sluggo
    • 11 years ago

    My trackball works in beer.

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      Best comment ever.

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 11 years ago

    Mices must have tails!…else they are hamsters or guinea pigs. That is all.

    • lolento
    • 11 years ago

    probably 3d mems sensor…that’s the direction of most handheld devices these days.

    • jsncable
    • 11 years ago

    maybe it’s glowing blue balls….. in the mouse..

    • lex-ington
    • 11 years ago

    The only thing my mice (laser) don’t work on is glass, other than that I have no tracking problems.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    gyroscopes!

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Ahem, when happened to good, old red LED sensors? They are good enough for practically anybody, easy on power and cheap to make.

    Laser sensors are just gimmicks to make the product sound and look cooler.

      • Skrying
      • 11 years ago

      Not even close. optical mouses have trouble tracking on a variety of surfaces. Laser works on a much larger variety. This new “Blue Track” just works on a even greater variety. That is why they’re putting it into a laptop mouse first as you’re often not going to be using a laptop in areas that are greatly conductive to tracking.

      The biggest problem Microsoft has is ergonomics. After purchasing and using my Logitech V450 I can say the shape and size of the USB receiver mean everything. The V450 has replaced my desktop mouse (a G5) as it can handle the task perfectly. The USB receiver is also so small I can forgot about it, and with the excellent battery life that is no worry.

      The pictures of Engadget show a mouse that appears to be of poor shape and still have a obnoxiously large receiver. I wouldn’t dare use such a thing with my laptop, it’d get in the way while in cramped quarters. While this tracking technology is yet another refinement and some might find it useful I think it’ll be a product only sought after by those looking for a specialty mouse looking to make sacrifices in other key areas.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        Surfaces? ROFL, that is a good one.

        I never had a problem with red LED-based optical mice on hard, even surfaces (plastic, wood, polished metal, ceramic) . I believe these are the typical surfaces where you would use any mouse on.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          My mother’s computer/sewing desk has some kind of white veneer that absolutely confuses every optical mouse I’ve tried on it. She doesn’t mind, since she uses a mouse pad anyway, but there are definitely surfaces that cause optical mice.to fail.

            • ChronoReverse
            • 11 years ago

            I really wonder though. I’ve yet to find any pattern that could confuse my old MX310 mouse (even surfaces that newer laser mice would have trouble with).

            It was actually news to me when I found out that one of the perks of a laser mouse was that it could work on a sheet of glass since my rather old and cheap optical could already do that just fine =)

          • DASQ
          • 11 years ago

          High gloss tables will confuse a lot of opticals, while lasers aren’t nearly as bad.

          Shove that ‘ROFL’ somewhere appropriate.

          • Hance
          • 11 years ago

          My kitchen table has a black surface and red led mice wont work on it at all. My MX1000 works ok but skips once in awhile so even it isnt perfect. The mouse sounds like a good idea to me.

          • willyolio
          • 11 years ago

          i have a desk with a simple, black textured surface. optical mice could be used at low speeds, but even at medium-speed movement, like 1 ft/s, would confuse the hell out of most optical mice and make the pointer do a funny little jiggle-dance on screen.

          laser all the way.

          • Skrying
          • 11 years ago

          You completely and utterly missed the point, amazing. This is a laptop only mouse. A person could OFTEN times come up to a surface that just doesn’t track well. My V450 for instance does not track well on my bed sheets. I often times want to use my laptop in bed to finish up some last minute work. If the intentions of this were to simply work on more hard surfaces such as a desk then Microsoft wouldn’t have wasted the research money. But that’s not its purpose, it’s a tracking method designed to work in a great many places and surfaces.

        • FroBozz_Inc
        • 11 years ago

        I gotta agree with the comment on receiver size.
        Either make them very tiny, like the one Damage mentioned a couple weeks ago in his blog post, or make them require bluetooth. Or make them bluetooth, and include a tiny bluetooth adapter that just barely protrudes out the USB port when plugged in. Those large adapters suck.

        I like the idea of the technology though. I was an early adopter of both optical (MS Intellimouse Explorer) and laser (Logitech MX1000).

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          Maybe include a 8′ USB extension cable for those who need to make the receiver closer to the mousing surface. (ie if the computer is inside a desk or behind an entertainment center)

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Because blue LEDs are, you know, cool.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    And here I was hoping for a sonar system so sensitive it could read the pit pattern in a sheet of polished glass.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Why not UV or Xrays? You could use the patterns on things under your desk, including your legs.

        • BooTs
        • 11 years ago

        Super-sensitive GPS.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          The Feds won’t let you have GPS that tracks to millions of an inch. Promise ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • BooTs
            • 11 years ago

            millionths*

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Okay, so you CAN buy the other kind ๐Ÿ˜€

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            Doesn’t work indoors anyway, unless you’re right by a window.

      • CampinCarl
      • 11 years ago

      So it can tell you who you need to assassinate?

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