Creating an ultra-thin yet substantial laptop mouse
In 2007, more than 1 million laptop computers were sold. Most laptops come with a touchpad; however, 75 percent of users prefer to use a mouse for better control in gaming and other applications, as well as improved ergonomics. But many people find it burdensome to remember, pack and transport a standard plug-in or wireless mouse when traveling. Newton Peripherals set out to accomplish what other electronics designers had failed to do: create a laptop mouse that could be stored and charged inside the computer, while offering excellent ergonomics and a substantial “feel” similar to that of a standard mouse.
“Our goal was to design and produce a mouse with an extremely thin form factor while still providing the functionality, usability and attractive appearance of standard mice,” said Matt Westover, president and CEO. “We wanted the mouse to have a weighty, solid feel without actual mass and bulk, since it had to fit into a standard PC card slot in the laptop. And of course, since mice get banged and dropped, our product had to be durable. Finally, we wanted to make the mouse affordable to drive broad adoption.”
Newton Peripherals’ design team is headed by Director of Engineering, Terry Jones, who added, “The materials we chose had to be flame retardant since the mouse essentially becomes an embedded component of the laptop when stored. And we wanted flame retardance without the use of brominated additives so we could comply with the European Union’s RoHS directive.”
Although the company briefly considered steel for the frame and kickstand of the mouse, metal was quickly ruled out due to high cost and heavy weight. The team quickly recognized that thermoplastics were the best choice for this unique and demanding application.
Cycoloy CX7240-94V0 flame-retardant resin for a unique design
Because Jones and his team already had experience with SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Cycoloy resins, they again turned to this material for the new mouse. Cycoloy CX7240-94V0 resin, a polycarbonate and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS) blend, offers flame retardance without the use of halogens. The material enables thin-wall molding while retaining excellent resistance to impact and bending. It also provides attractive aesthetics.
Cycoloy CX7240-94V0 resin helped Newton Peripherals successfully design the new MoGo Mouse family of products. The 5-mm-thick mouse features a textured, black frame and kickstand that are injection molded from the SABIC Innovative Plastics resin.
Jones noted, “The SABIC Innovative Plastics team of technicians application development experts worked closely with my designers and our molder to optimize both the design and the processing parameters for best results.”
The MoGo Mouse launched in 2007. The original version, the Bluetooth-enabled MoGo Mouse BT™, has since been expanded to include the MoGo Presenter Mouse X54™ and the MoGo Media Mouse X54™. Both retail for $69 to $79.
Award-winning MoGo Mouse takes laptop users by storm
Since the introduction of the MoGo Mouse, accolades have poured in from the media. The mouse was featured on the Today Show, won first place in the “Best of CES” contest and received the Andrew Seybold award for most imaginative product. Newton Peripherals was named to the top 25 “coolest emerging vendors” by Computer Reseller News.
Currently the MoGo Mouse product line is sold in 40 countries by several large computer manufacturers, each selling it with their computers under the MoGo Mouse brand name.
Westover said, “The MoGo Mouse, featuring Cycoloy resin, solved issues that laptop users have complained about for years. Its small dimensions enable it to be stored conveniently in the laptop, yet it has a nice heft that implies robustness. It’s highly ergonomic to use and attractive to look at. And it can stand up to rough handling, thanks to the rugged Cycoloy frame.”
He concluded, “SABIC Innovative Plastics was great to work with, and their thermoplastic technology was absolutely essential in making the MoGo Mouse a reality. Without this amazing material, we could not have delivered a product with the thinness, durability, cost-effectiveness and aesthetics that have been essential to its tremendous success.”