You’ve got the HDTV, the house-rumbling audio system, the home theater PC, and all the media you could ever want – but how are you going to start that song or movie? Usually, the answer involves getting up off the couch to mess with an ordinary computer mouse, or using a wireless mouse that you’ll have to roll across impromptu mousepads such as pantlegs, couch cushions, and coffee tables. Logitech targeted this problem specifically with the newest control device they introduced on Thursday: a mouse you can use in the air.
Logitech’s new MX Air Mouse uses motion-sensing technology to translates hand gestures into cursor motion. The company wouldn’t be the very first to introduce such a product for PCs, but you could safely say they are the first of the major peripheral manufacturers to jump on board with a motion-sensing design.
The mouse operates using microelectromechanical sensors to sense a user’s motion, meaning that unlike the Nintendo Wii’s motion-sensing remote, there is no infrared sensor bar to place above the display you’re controlling. Using buttons on the remote, simple gestures can be preprogrammed to actions. For instance, holding one button and making a circular motion to the right might tell a computer to skip to the next track. The MX Air also has a touch-sensitive panel that takes the place of a traditional scroll wheel. Logitech claims the panel adjusts the scroll speed relative to the speed of the finger swiping, which would make it much like a linear version of Apple’s circular iPod control wheel.
Although it is intended to be used in the air, the mouse can also double as a regular laser mouse on a desk or table. Logitech’s 2.4GHz digital cordless technology should be good for about 30 feet of range, and when you’re all done, it includes a cradle for recharging. The MX Air Mouse will be available in August for $149.99.