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Sustail clockwork mouse concept


January 5, 2010

Sustail mouse concept needs the user to provide power by winding the mechanism

Sustail mouse concept needs the user to provide power by winding the mechanism

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Designer Ahmet Bektes is proposing using centuries-old technology to provide the power for a familiar modern device. Rather than drawing energy from a computer or batteries, a user will need to remove a key from below the Sustail mouse and wind it up before being able to use it. It is hoped that the Bluetooth-connected input device would also encourage users to take regular breaks and have a more responsible attitude towards power consumption.

Powering a low energy device by using a wind-up mechanism has of course been around for centuries, being most familiar in clocks and watches. Recently, such energy generation has found its way into scores of modern devices such as radios, torches and media players. In designing a conceptual optical mouse which will need to wound up before it can be used, Bektes hopes not only to free the device from more familiar power source restrictions but also to change the behavior of its user.

A user will have to produce something up front before being able to work or play, albeit a modest amount of energy to power the device's mechanism. And because of the need for periodic rewinding using a key stored in the underside of the mouse body , regular breaks for recharging (both the mouse and the user) will be a requirement for continued use. As well as having obvious health benefits, Bektes hopes that it will also encourage a positive mindset whereby leaving an electronic device fully powered on or in stand-by will become something of an alien concept.

Betkes told Gizmag that rather than physically connect the input peripheral to a computer or laptop he sees Sustail using Bluetooth, which is well established and benefits from a low power profile, "classic Bluetooth consumes a peak max of 30mA, Bluetooth low energy is developed in order to provide wider connectivity with low consumption (<15mA) especially for remote controllers. it can be (will be) used as an alternative solution in future."

The design is currently with Logitech's mouse department where its feasibility will no doubt be scrutinized and any resulting product may of course differ from the original concept. However, the idea has promise. The results of initial consumer product testing should provide insight into whether users will buy into the idea of generating power before being allowed to use Sustail but I for one would certainly consider including one in my laptop bag, where anything that will extend battery life is more than welcome.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

How about the \"Pull Back\" and go toy car type of windup mech instead? no key to lose.. And I can\'t get this image of a Tom and Jerry clockwork mouse with the rotating key sticking out of its back,roaming around the desktop out of my mind now!

Gerard Gallagher

@ Gerard,

I was thinking the same thing... the motion of the mouse itself could power it. Think of all the kinetic energy put into moving a mouse a few hundred feet a day around a desktop. The key will get lost in the first week, and then what? Better to have a key slot that would also fit a common office item, like a hex-shaped pencil.

Cheers, Doc


Winding that thing up could cause you to exhale even more CO2, thus destroying the Earth.

Remember kids, the Abacus produces zero carbon emissions. Save the Earth, get off your computer.

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