RealTime IT News

Notebook Mouse Sports Innovative Design

Notebook computer users don't lack for pointing device options, but the latest offering has to rank among the most innovative.

Unlike other solutions, the MoGo Mouse BT doesn't need a connecting cable, as it uses Bluetooth technology to communicate wirelessly with a notebook.

Also, the MoGo stores conveniently inside a notebook's PC card slot, where its battery can recharge. A full charge takes less than an hour and can last up to eight hours, though the company said even a much shorter charge can provide hours of power.

The $69.95 MoGo, from startup Newton Peripherals in West Newton, Mass., is slated to ship in the first quarter of this year. Development work on this portable, wireless mouse began in early 2004 by a group of engineers frustrated by the limitations of built-in pointing devices on their notebooks, Jack Corrao, vice president of business development, told internetnews.com.

Consumers could carry an extra desktop mouse or a smaller unit designed for the road warrior. But carrying an extra mouse can be cumbersome.

"The MoGo has the same look and feel of a desktop mouse, only it's lighter," said Corrao. "It glides across the desktop in a way people really like."

The MoGo will make its public debut at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it will be on display at the Broadcom pavilion.

Broadcom , a strategic partner of Newton Peripherals, is supplying its BCM2040 Bluetooth chipset, which integrates radio, baseband, firmware and several key application-specific electronic components.

Once it's popped out from the PC card slot, a kickstand-like holder locks into place, putting the MoGo at an appropriate ergonomic or comfortable angle. The company said it has several patents pending on the design and the optics involved.

Corrao said that "a top mouse manufacturer" that he declined to identify has been contracted to manufacture the MoGo.

Many, though not all, notebook computers include Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth can also be added via a low cost dongle that connects to the USB port.

"You look at Bluetooth in 2004, it was more of a cellular play. You put it in a cell phone, and the attach rate for earphones goes way up," said Corrao. "Now the laptop guys have figured out the benefits for notebooks, and you're going to more manufacturers making it standard in 2006."