‘Darkfield’ Lasers Let Mice Track on Glass

Logitech has recently introduced a new technology that allows optical PC mice to operate on glass. This feature can solve the common problem offices encounter when users work on stylish desktops made of glass, crystal or other transparent materials.
 Anywhere Mouse MX (Credit: Logitech)
Anywhere Mouse MX (Credit: Logitech)

Until now, surfaces had to be opaque and smooth. However, thanks to Logitech’s new technology, called ‘Darkfield Laser Tracking’, optical pointing-devices could work on metal, plastic, glass or any other straight, solid surface.

The first two mice to implement this technology are the Anywhere MX and the Performance MX. Unlike regular laser-based mice, in these mice the lasers peer inside the glass and reveal its microscopic imperfections. These ‘flaws’ enable the mouse to receive the beamed laser, thus recognizing movement. This YouTube video provides further scientific explanation for the Darkfield Laser technology.

The Darkfield Laser Tracking technology has several minor exceptions; it cannot work on laboratory grade glass (which is very rare outside scientific institutions), and the surface beneath the mouse has to be at least 4mm thick. Surely, it is doubtful that someone will actually use in his office a desk so thin.

 Anywhere Mouse MX (Credit: Logitech)
Anywhere Mouse MX (Credit: Logitech)

Both Anywhere MX and Performance MX are wireless; the PC connection is made using the supplied Logitech USB receiver (which is plug ‘n’ play and requires no installation). According to Logitech, the receiver can be used with other supporting wireless products – hence reducing the hassle of multiple connectors. Another handy feature is the addition of two thumb-buttons, designed to provide easy “back” and “forward” access in web-browsers.

Currently the mice are reasonably priced, considering their innovativeness; the small Anywhere MX is sold for $80, the bigger Performance MX is sold for $100.

TFOT has previously covered Gigabyte’s GM-M8000, a mouse designed for gamers, claimed to have the most accurate precision ever seen, and the Scope Node Laser Sensor Mouse, uniquely characterized by the position of the laser sensor – aligned to that of the pen tip. Another related TFOT story covers the SafeMouse, a mouse with 4GB of internal storage designed to perform regular backups,

For more information about Darkfield Laser Tracking and the new Logitech products, see the company’s website.