Logitech has released a mouse that makes portable computing easier – one that operates on shiny surfaces. Utilising its Darkfield Laser Tracking, the company says its mouse can operate on virtually any surface – including clear glass (that’s at least 4mm thick) and other high-gloss surfaces found in today’s modern home and office. The technology is available in two models – the Logitech Performance Mouse MX (full-size) and the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX (compact for notebooks).

Traditional laser tracking technology relies on the mouse’s sensor to detect the textural details of the surface, the rougher the better because it’s easier for the sensor to identify reference points that it can use to accurately measure motion. But high-gloss surfaces such as glass are almost completely flat, hence there are not enough details for a typical laser mouse’s sensor to detect.

Logitech says its research shows that 40 percent of people have a glass surface in their home that limits their ability to operate their laptops effectively in those areas unless they carry a mousepad with them. Add to this other surfaces like granite, lacquered wood and smooth laminates – and the modern home or office poses real challenges to the tracking capabilities of standard mice.

Logitech overcomes the problem by using dark field microscopy to detect microscopic particles and micro-scratches on these surfaces, rather than tracking the surface itself, even on glass (as long as it’s at least 4mm thick). For instance, the company says the mouse’s sensor sees the clean areas of glass as a dark background with bright dots – the dust - similar to the way in which our eye sees the stars in a clear night sky.

The sensor interprets the movement of these dots to track exactly where you’ve moved the mouse.

“Laptops have gained popularity in the last several years because of the freedom they afford – people today want to be able to connect to their digital world anytime, anywhere. However, until now, no mouse has been able to match that flexibility,” said Rory Dooley, Logitech’s senior vice president and general manager of the Control Devices business unit. “Thanks to Logitech Darkfield, whether you’re checking the morning news from the granite counter top in your kitchen or at work manipulating a spreadsheet from your glass desk, you can be confident that your Logitech mouse will be up to the task.”

Big or small

The new technology is available on a full-size mouse as well as a more compact, notebook mouse. Both models feature hyper-fast scrolling, and click-to-click mode delivers precision when navigating lists, photos and slideshows.

The full-size Logitech Performance Mouse MX has a sculpted, right-handed shape while the flexible micro-USB charging system lets you recharge your mouse through your computer or a wall outlet – even while you’re using it. To increase productivity, four customizable thumb buttons put your most important controls – like application switching and zooming – at your fingertips.

Another new feature is force-sensitive side-to-side scrolling (software-enabled) – a first in any Logitech mouse – to assist with navigating around Web pages.

The Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX has a travel pouch to protect the mouse while in transit. It, too, has a contoured shape to fit into most hands, and its back and forward buttons, placed within reach of your thumb, help with Web-surfing.

In addition to providing great cursor control, both of the new Logitech mice feature the recently-announced Logitech® Unifying receiver. The tiny wireless receiver stays in your notebook, so there’s no need to unplug it when you move around. Plus, you can easily add up to five other compatible Logitech keyboards and mice to the single receiver, including the recently announced Logitech® Keyboard K350, Logitech® Keyboard K340, Logitech® Marathon Mouse M705 and the Logitech® Wireless Mouse M505.

The Logitech Performance Mouse MX is available in the U.S. and Europe for USD$99.99 and the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX for USD$79.99.

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