Sustail clockwork mouse concept
Designer Ahmet Bektes is proposing using centuries-old technology to provide the power for a familiar modern device. Rather than drawing energy from a computer or batteries, a user will need to remove a key from below the Sustail mouse and wind it up before being able to use it. It is hoped that the Bluetooth-connected input device would also encourage users to take regular breaks and have a more responsible attitude towards power consumption.
Powering a low energy device by using a wind-up mechanism has of course been around for centuries, being most familiar in clocks and watches. Recently, such energy generation has found its way into scores of modern devices such as radios, torches and media players. In designing a conceptual optical mouse which will need to wound up before it can be used, Bektes hopes not only to free the device from more familiar power source restrictions but also to change the behavior of its user.
A user will have to produce something up front before being able to work or play, albeit a modest amount of energy to power the device's mechanism. And because of the need for periodic rewinding using a key stored in the underside of the mouse body , regular breaks for recharging (both the mouse and the user) will be a requirement for continued use. As well as having obvious health benefits, Bektes hopes that it will also encourage a positive mindset whereby leaving an electronic device fully powered on or in stand-by will become something of an alien concept.
Betkes told Gizmag that rather than physically connect the input peripheral to a computer or laptop he sees Sustail using Bluetooth, which is well established and benefits from a low power profile, "classic Bluetooth consumes a peak max of 30mA, Bluetooth low energy is developed in order to provide wider connectivity with low consumption (<15mA) especially for remote controllers. it can be (will be) used as an alternative solution in future."
The design is currently with Logitech's mouse department where its feasibility will no doubt be scrutinized and any resulting product may of course differ from the original concept. However, the idea has promise. The results of initial consumer product testing should provide insight into whether users will buy into the idea of generating power before being allowed to use Sustail but I for one would certainly consider including one in my laptop bag, where anything that will extend battery life is more than welcome.