Logitech MX mice offer 'Darkfield' tech; work on glass, glossy surfaces

Summary:Logitech on Wednesday announced two new premium mice, the Logitech Performance Mouse MX and the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX, which both feature "Darkfield Laser Tracking," which allows mousing on clear glass (at least 4 mm thick) and high-gloss surfaces.According to the company, 40 percent of people have a glass surface in their home, which poses a problem for mice with more traditional tracking methods, such as laser and optical technologies.

Logitech on Wednesday announced two new premium mice, the Logitech Performance Mouse MX and the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX, which both feature "Darkfield Laser Tracking," which allows mousing on clear glass (at least 4 mm thick) and high-gloss surfaces.

According to the company, 40 percent of people have a glass surface in their home, which poses a problem for mice with more traditional tracking methods, such as laser and optical technologies.

So how's it work? Logitech describes:

Regular laser tracking technology relies on the ability of the mouse’s sensor to detect the textural details of the surface. The more irregularities a surface exhibits, the easier it is for the sensor to identify reference points that it can use to accurately measure motion. However, because high-gloss surfaces such as glass are almost completely flat, there are not enough details for a typical laser mouse’s sensor to detect.

To track on glass (that’s at least 4 mm thick), Logitech Darkfield uses dark field microscopy to detect microscopic particles and micro-scratches on these surfaces, rather than tracking the surface itself. Similar to the way in which our eye sees the clear night sky, the mouse’s sensor sees the clean areas of glass as a dark background with bright dots – the dust. Then, the sensor interprets the movement of these dots to track exactly where you’ve moved the mouse.

The Logitech Performance Mouse MX (pictured at top) is a full-size mouse, while the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX (pictured, above) is a compact, notebook-ready mouse. Both mice feature standard Logitech innovations such as the click hyper-scroll wheel and the company's new "Unifying" micro USB receiver that can be shared among up to five Logitech accessories.

The full-size Performance Mouse MX is a sculpted, right-handed model with a micro-USB charging system, four customizable thumb buttons and force-sensitive side-to-side scrolling (software enabled).

The Performance Mouse MX will retail for $99.99, while the Anywhere Mouse MX will retail for $79.99. Both are expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in August.

Topics: Hardware

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Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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