At User-lab we've been having a think about the new Apple iMac mouse, which looks like this.
You might notice it's cordless. The words cordless mouse, to me at least, mean scrabbling around looking for batteries, swearing, dodgy connection to my machine, etc. So how else might you solve the solution of wanting no wires, but no batteries either?
- Wireless charging does exist but we're unsure of the amount of power a mouse needs to run. Also, if we're talking about toothbrushes, etc they make contact. Can wireless charging currently charge an object at a proximity of roughly a foot away, which is how far your mouse might be from your computer… So in theory it would charge whilst in use.
- Charging wirelessly through a desk. If it does need to make contact to charge, could you use a mouse mat or technology built into (under) a desk?? that would allow the mouse to charge whilst in contact?
- The idea I most like, which seemed madness at first, is solar charging. One the one had, yes, millions of teenagers use computers locked away in dingy dark basements (almost certainly playing World of Warcraft of course). But others might have their curtains open. If a calculator can be run from solar power, how does a mouse compare? It's a larger surface area anyway, especially if we take the above Apple design as an example. I'd even be willing to bet, with a big enough screen, you might get some minimal charge from screen / lamp glare. I know for example that the other day I had to shine a lamp on my solar calculator to get it to work.
Anyway just thought I'd get in there – if you see solar powered mouses coming out next year, you heard it here first.