03 Sep 2008
Leaked details suggest the Windows firm has switched a red diode laser source for a blue LED in the latest attempt to improve the usefulness of our dependable computer controllers.
Optical mice look set to be the latest consumer application to benefit from GaN LEDs, with Microsoft using this technology to displace red diode lasers.
The global computing giant's website features a preview trailer for its latest mouse, due for launch on September 9, with the slogan "Say goodbye to laser".
That teaser boasts that Microsoft's latest offering "will go anywhere you do", but does not explain how it works.
On August 26 research and development manager Mark DePue of Microsoft's desktop experiences group described the technology to Bloomberg's Boot Camp radio program. "This year we're introducing two new mice with our breakthrough tracking technology, called Blue Track," DePue said. "The key to it is that it uses a big blue beam."
Shortly after, product data was spotted on European e-commerce websites detailing a combination of blue LED and wide-angle lens that provide higher precision operation. Microsoft specifically claims that Blue Track allows excellent performance on problem surfaces, such as wood, granite and carpeting.
"It gives you the ability to work on more surfaces than you've ever been able to before," DePue said. "You'll see people taking their notebooks to more areas of the house." Bloomberg says that the two Blue Track models will be priced at $79 and $99 on their release. As yet there have been no hints as to who might be providing the LEDs enabling the technology.