Logitech unveiled “Darkfield” today, its next-generation optical tracking technology, designed to keep a mouse tracking and stable on just about any surface, including glass. And I don’t mean frosted-glass or translucent-glass desktops, I mean completely clear, nothing-below-this surface glass. Previous mice from just about every major manufacturer have had problems tracking on clear glass, and for good reason – if the surface is completely transparent, there’s nothing for the laser or optical camera to reflect off of, so there’s no scatter signal back to the optical sensor that tells the mouse where it’s moving or how it’s tracking.
Logitech isn’t the first company to develop technology that counters for this problem though, Microsoft released BlueTrack a while ago, but even BlueTrack isn’t designed to work on completely clear surfaces like glass. Now you may say “what’s the big deal, no one has a completely clear glass desk anyways,” and you’d be right for the most part, but the real benefit here is that now we have mice that can track on literally every surface you put them on, anywhere you go, thus completely removing the need for a mousepad on any surface.
Gamers will probably stick to performance mousepads designed for easier optical and laser tracking, but for those of you who have to stick with a crummy foam mousepad because your favorite mouse doesn’t like your office desk surface can breathe easy – help is on the way! Logitech expects the two new Darkfield mice, the Performance Mouse MX (priced at $100) and Anywhere Mouse MX (a version aimed at mobile users with laptops, priced at $80) to be available later this month.
Head over to PopSci.com (link below) to see the full story, and check out a video of the new Performance Mouse MX up against Logitech’s MX 1100, itself a relatively new mouse.