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Thermo/Photo-Electric Mice

Ways to power cordless mice without batteries.
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(+2, -1)
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We all know what "solar cells" are, and I'm surprised that I couldn't find mention of a solar-cell-powered mouse. I suspect the reason is that anyone who thought of it realized that when you cover the mouse with your hand, you are blocking the light that would power it. However!

First, there are "capacitors" that can be charged up by solar cells infinitely many times, whenever your hand is NOT on the mouse (you do use the keyboard now and then, don't you?), and which could supply power when your hand actually is using the mouse.

Second, the mouse could have a sort of "sunshade" thing attached to it. It's attached to the side of the mouse and arcs over and above the mouse (for balance, so it doesn't fall over), and the solar cells are on THAT instead of directly on the mouse. You put your hand in the space between the panel and the mouse, of course. The panel should be attachable to either side of the mouse, to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed access.

Third, solar cells might be avoidable altogether. There is a "thermoelectric effect" which can generate a small amount of electricity from the heat of your hand holding the mouse. I'm not sure that this is enough to power it, but it might be. Here the neat thing is that if it works at all, then powering the mouse happens automatically every single time you grab it to use it.

Fourth, a combination of the preceding ideas may be the best way to go. If the mouse included capacitors AND was covered BOTH with solar cells and thermoelectric junctions, then there should just about always be sufficient power available for using the device (and without the need for a "canopy" thing.

Vernon, Aug 08 2005

About the ThermoElectric Effect http://www.absolute...seebeck_effect1.htm
The article has links worth following, too. [Vernon, Aug 08 2005]

Self Powered Mouse Self_20Powered_20Mouse
As referenced in an annotation. [Vernon, May 16 2006]


       Cordless mice have batteries? I had no idea. I guess I just never thought about it, but it makes sense.   

       Why not just use a kinetic effect?
shapu, Aug 08 2005

       [shapu], that's already been suggested here at the HalfBakery. And duplicate Ideas are frowned-upon. A kinetic-powering gadget may be fine for a mouse. If not, well, then there is one more thing to combine with these notions here!   

       More specifically, the "Self Powered Mouse" Idea suggests something like this: If an ordinary mouse with a ball had some magnets inside the ball, and appropriate coils in the region surrounding the ball, then just moving the mouse would directly generate some power, that could be stored in the capacitor.
Vernon, Aug 08 2005

       I just didn't bother looking it up. I'm not surprised it had already been posted.   

       Of your particular ideas, I happen to like the thermoelectric the best.
shapu, Aug 08 2005

       You probably can't run an optical mouse, but a standard ball-mouse would probably work.
5th Earth, Aug 08 2005

       Are you sure it would would be bright enough for a solar powered mouse? maybe in an office, but alot of people like to use their computers in the dark, and I think most people turn off the light when they leave the room anyway.   

       And if you had a thermo mouse then it obviously wouldn't work if your hand was cold when you first get to the computer.
BJS, May 13 2006


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