There’s a new gaming mouse that infinitely charges without ever being connected. It transmits commands so fast it is, as far as human beings are concerned, zero lag – despite the lack of any cables. Logitech’s new have somehow created a mouse that’s completely free – in both movement and design – from all the old obstructions. There’s just one question. How?
Looking beneath the surface reveals some fine engineering and very space age thinking. It’s all about electromagnetic waves and fields. Both the superfast wireless, which they call , and the wireless charging tech,, use these invisible but incredibly powerful forces.
Although we can’t see, hear, feel or otherwise sense electromagnetic waves carrying power and information through the air, both LIGHTSPEED and POWERPLAY are tapping into a force that fundamentally shapes the universe we can see.
That’s not the only thing that makes advanced wireless connections ideal for gaming. Most importantly, they can be used effectively alongside other devices which could cause signal interference – computers, phones, tablets, smart devices and wireless earbuds/headsets. They don’t need a clear line of sight – the waves pass through desks, monitors and clutter – and the supporting technology is very light, while only drawing a tiny amount of power. Obviously these things are key if your goal is a sub-110g, battery-powered device. A lighter mouse feels like it's "not there", which makes it less of a hindrance to movement and gameplay.
All these benefits are a factor in Logitech’s success in global esports: though other brands’ early attempts at wireless could be slower and less reliable than wires, LIGHTSPEED began as a pro-level offering and has evolved to where it’s regularly faster than its wired rivals. This, and the imperturbable nature of its connection even around significant noise has seen hosts of pro players and leagues including Cloud9’s Timothy "Autimatic" Ta as well as Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg and Peter "Doublelift" Peng from team TSM. When millions of dollars depend on their fraction-of-a-second reactions, that’s a serious vote of confidence.
Meanwhile, by generating an electromagnetic field in a base that’s also a mousemat, Logitech can use induction to pass a charge remotely through its POWERCORE device to charge compatible wireless mice like G703 and G903. This in turn frees the designers to create a mouse that’s purely suited to gaming use – there are no snagging cables to find an exit for, no physical connections to prioritize in the competition for space. The G903’s 110g ambidextrous chassis can instead concentrate on the ergonomics of its metal-hinged and pre-tensioned main triggers, removable side buttons, hyper-fast scroll wheel and configurable controls and lighting.
By using infrared/LED light to accurately track surfaces without getting confused by holes and imperfections beneath, optical sensors outperform laser sensors.This can result in acceleration.
This leads to randomly imprecise responses gamers find impossible to compensate for, and the common fix is a little like taping up somebody’s mouth to cure their cough. Software that ditches any commands that fall outside a predicted average certainly smooth out laser-mouse movement (hence the ‘smoothing’ or ‘filtering’ tag), but they make them no more accurate.
Smoothing is a processing technique that averages multiple counts of data together to prevent “ripple” - spurious data that is not accurate relative to the direction the mouse is traveling. This processing inherently adds latency to motion translation. For example, it makes it more challenging for gamers to train muscle memory for flick shots. The PMW3366 sensor has no smoothing or filtering.
Like so many of the best designs, LIGHTSPEED wireless and POWERPLAY charging lead to something that looks simple, clean and elegant. The wireless nano receiver is tiny and unobtrusive, while the POWERPLAY base is the mousemat, complete with hard and soft surface options. But while the parts you can see of these systems arguably look pretty fine, now you know: it’s the invisible stuff doing the hard work!
Sponsored by Logitech