Wireless Mouse

Just like their rodent namesakes, computer mice have always come equipped with their long tail. In fact, the term “mouse” was coined at the Stanford Research Institute simply because these small devices resembled those small furry pests. Though in the case of a computer mouse, the “tail” has always been a cord that connects the mouse to the computer in some form or fashion. That is, until the wireless mouse was invented.

Essentially, a computer mouse is an instrument that detects two dimensional motion by moving over a surface. This motion typically translates to that of a pointer or cursor on a screen, and that is how most computer users now primarily interact with their desktop computers, laptops, or other electronic equipment. Just like other wireless computer components, such as keyboards and routers, wireless mice came to popularity as computer users began to demand for more freedom in computing. Of course, technological advancement and price point was also an issue, but wireless mice have actually been around quite a bit longer than one might imagine. For example, the children’s educational toy the VTech Socratese actually featured a wireless mouse with a built in mousepad as early as 1988.

So how does a wireless mouse work? In use, a wireless mouse works just like a regular, wired mouse in that it detects two dimensional motion by moving over a surface. But, the difference is that a wireless mouse transmits infrared or radio signals to a base station receiver. The receivers, in turn, are plugged into to the computer. The infrared mouse type requires a line of site to the receiver, while the wireless mouse that operates via sending radio signals is more flexible. It emits radio waves in a wide pattern that transmit to the receiver.

One great feature of a wireless mouse in regard to the home office is that its lack of wires eliminates that sticky home office problem of wire tangling. Computers and all their various and sundry peripherals can have as many as ten or twelve cords sticking out of them in various places. With a wireless mouse, one less cord is taking up space and posing a possible safety hazard. Combine a wireless mouse, a wireless keyboard and other wireless peripherals and your home computing station or desk is much less cluttered. Not to mention less dusty. Computer cords, because they are often still and located in out of the way places, are a common place where people forget to dust.

Because wireless mice are wireless, they generally run on a battery that will need to be periodically charged. Most wireless mice come with a charging station. To charge, most just mount on the charging station when the mouse is not in use. Some frequent computer users list the need to periodically charge as a con of the wireless mouse. For example, an office worker who forgets to charge his mouse overnight may come into the office the next day and find that he cannot work due to a dead mouse.

Rodent or otherwise – a dead mouse is never any fun! Foreseeing this problem, manufacturers have designed most models of wireless mouse to go into standby mode when in disuse. While this feature is highly helpful for office workers, some gamers complain that it slows mouse response time. For that reason, many wireless mice engineered especially for gamers lack the standby feature. As with all electronics, it is important to keep in mind your reason for buying before purchasing a wireless mouse.

Now that the mouse no longer has its tail, is it time for a name change? Perhaps instead of “wireless mouse” the devices should be called “wireless hamster”!

This Wireless Mouse Review is Written/Updated on Jun 17th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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