Optical mouse – Principle and working

What is a mouse?

The mouse is a pointing device which helps us to operate the computer. Unlike the complicated hardwares such as Mother board,RAM, Hardisk, Processor of the computer, the mouse is designed with a simple circuit to process. Now a days, we get varieties of mouse with different technologies in the market.

The developing applications in the computer field has not completely excluded the mouse yet. Although, we have switched to Touchpads in Laptops, "the function of mouse is easy and user-friendly when compared with touch pads for a new user", says the users. Mostly all the applications are operated with mouse for easy working. In recent days, the optical mouse had overcome the old ball mouse, because of its ‘easy to use’ function.

Disadvantages of Ball mouse

With the previous ball-rolled mouses, the movement of the pointer in the computer  is decided by the ball inside the mouse. So, if the ball gets damaged, or if dust gets clustered, the operation of the mouse becomes problem. When dust gathers, it takes some time to clear it too.With these disadvantages, the ball mouse was slowly moved away form the computer technology leaving the optical mouse to fill its space.

Working of Optical mouse

Now, almost everyone tries to switch from ball/roller mouse to Optical mouse. As the cost of the mouse is also being decreasing, the replacement is quiet quicker.To connect this optical mouse, the necessity is PS/2 or USB plug, and windows, macintosh or LINUX operating system installed in the computer.

The main components of the optical mouse are:

  • Inbuilt optical sensor
  • High speed camera which can take 1000 pictures at a time
  • LED

These optical mouses do have an inbulit optical sensor. The optical sensor reads the movements of the optical mouse (moved by the user) with the help of the light rays which comes out from the bottom. ( The area in which a light glows). When the user moves the optical mouse, the LED (Light Emitting Diode) present inside the mouse emits the light according the minute movements. These movements are send to the camera as light rays. The camera captures the difference in light rays as images. When the camera captures the images, each and every pictures and compared to one another with the digital technology. With the comparison, the speed of the mouse and the direction of the movement of the mouse are rapidly calculated. According to the calculation, the pointer moves on the screen.


Comparison between a roller/ball  mouse and optical mouse

  • The optical mouse does not have any movable parts as of the ball mouse. So, the life of the optical mouse is long compared to the ordinary mouse.
  • Since the mouse works with the sensor recognition, the movements are clearly captured and so the moves gives out a same function in all moves.
  • Since the ball is absent in the optical mouse, the weight of the optical mouse is less than that of the ball mouse.
  • The dust clustering problem is abolished in the optical mouse as its parts are all static.
  • The optical mouse can also function good without a mouse pad, which is impossible with ordinary mouses.Any way, optical mouses cannot be used above reflecting glasses or any glass materials.

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