Sure, you love your go-anywhere little wireless computer mouse. But do you love those hard-to-recycle batteries loaded up with heavy metals you’re blowing through every month? If you’re reading this article, chances are, you don’t.
Greener options of course exist, such as the DX-ECO wireless mouse, which eschews those many AAAs and lithium-ion batteries in favor of a quick-charge system, reducing e-waste and material use; or HP’s Wireless Eco-Comfort Mobile, which is said to be so energy efficient that its single AA battery can last up to seven months (it also features recycled plastic and packaging components). But in the future, you may have an even more attractive option in greener computer peripherals in the Leaf Wireless Kinetic Mouse.
This concept design (which comes to us via Yanko Design) builds on a commonsense insight: the main thing we do with a computer mouse is move it. That movement, properly harnessed, could create energy, which in turn could power the mouse. The brilliance!
Designers Lu Hairong and Zhang Xuehui make use of a basic circuit board and internal battery powered by a “self-powered” kinetic energy system that produces 3 volts of electricity to keep you happily clicking away. Laser tracking keeps the mouse’s movements consistent with the movement of your cursor on-screen, while its slim, ergonomic design keeps the mouse comfortable in your hand.
Now, if only everything we moved around on a regular basis could produce electricity. How about the computer keyboard itself? Not to mention kinetically powered iPods, iPads and—why not?—Nintendo Wiis. Concept designs such as this could help to get our various electronic devices off the dole and on the road to self-sufficiency, which could spell real changes in the way we use energy. Kinetic energy for all!