Battery Free Wireless Mouse
"Batteries not included" is not a message that is usually associated with computer peripherals. Whatever the device, whether it is a wireless mouse, keyboard, or whatever, you will generally find the required batteries tucked away somewhere in the box. However, as we all know, batteries tend not to be everlasting. In fact they do have a propensity to run out of juice at the most inconvenient moment.
For example the batteries powering your wireless mouse could decide to give up the ghost as you are about to put the finishing touches to an important project. Of course you might have a spare set of batteries immediately available or are expert enough to control Windows through the use of the keyboard alone but maybe not. If you belong to the "maybe not" category then our friends at Gadgeter.com, believe they have a possible solution to this problem with their Battery Free Wireless Optical Mouse product.
This solution, innovative as it may appear at first glance, does require a device to be tethered to the computer thus applying some restriction on the physical location of the mouse. While the mouse may be tail-less and not attached to the computer in the normally accepted manner, its companion mouse mat, which is a required element, is connected to the computer via a USB lead. The battery-free mouse needs to be in physical contact with this mouse mat in order to work. Remove the mouse from this mouse mat and it becomes little more than a lump of plastic and rubber that has no affect on your computer desktop and applications.
While it contact with the mouse mat, the mouse will act as a normal optical cursor-controlling device. All the power required by the mouse is being drawn from the computer by the mouse mat. The mat then uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology in conjunction with electromagnetic induction technology to link the mouse action to the onscreen cursor.
While this method might seem complicated, it does work and is incredibly easy to set up. You simply connect the mouse mat to a spare USB port; place the mouse on the mat; and press the Tune button located on the mat. That is all there is to it. A red LED glows steadily to indicate when power is on and the mouse is in contact (it blinks when the mouse is removed) while a green LED glows to show the mouse is in contact with the mat and being used in some form.
The work area of this rigid mouse mat measures 195 x 265mm which is comparable to the size of my more traditional mouse mat so there were no issues with regards to adjusting my mouse movements. The permanently attached USB lead gives 136cm of play which provides a reasonable amount of play when positioning the mat. Generally I found it more comfortable to have the mouse mat on my knee when working especially as you are recommended to keep the mouse mat away from metallic surfaces. Not only does the mouse mat work in conjunction with the mouse but it also offer USB hub capabilities with three USB ports located along the front of the mat. However these ports only support the slower 1.1 variety.
The mouse itself, coloured black and silver, is ambidextrous in design and fits comfortably in either hand. It is of the two-button, wheeled variety. Both the mouse and its accompanying mat have a translucent feature. The mat is surrounded by a plastic strip which glows blue while the mouse adopts a reddish glow.
The mouse performed well throughout testing. Initially it did not appear as smooth as my normal mouse but any adjustment required was quickly accomplished through general use. It is a pity that the USB support does not include 2.0 but there are still enough devices out there that only require the slower speed. This kit has been priced at £24.95. Unfortunately it is currently out-of-stock so prospective purchasers will need to show some patience.
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