The evolution of data input devices has changed dramatically over the past years, with the newest incarnation being the wireless laser keyboard and mouse. Actually, these devices are relatively simple in their function, but the productivity gains experienced by users is quite great. In the most basic form, a laser keyboard and accompanying mouse are any of the devices that use lasers instead of wires to communicate with computers.
These types of devices have taken the computing world by storm and are now the preferred devices by most users for controlling a computer. The major benefit of the laser keyboard and mouse is the elimination of unnecessary wires. This allows a person to control a computer from different places instead of having to be directly in front of the computer at all times.
The majority of laser keyboard mouse setups include a receiving unit that is typically plugged into an existing USB or PS2 port on the computer. The receiver receives the signals from the keyboard and mouse that correspond to the keys entered or the movement of the laser keyboard mouse. These signals are then transmitted to the computer and result in the input of text or the movement of a cursor on the screen.
From a user’s standpoint, these devices function the same as similar ones that use wires or optic technology. The laser technology that is used with these devices is very stable and it is a rare occurrence that a user will experience any data loss resulting from a malfunction or error from the operation of the lasers. The competing optic technology is actually less stable and results in more errors when used as a laptop keyboard mouse.
As this technology is relatively new, there are no accurate studies of just how long the devices will last and there will be great differences between the various manufacturers and models. Estimates of how long batteries will last in the device also vary greatly. Generally, it is expected that the keyboard will last for two year and the mouse will last for one year before needing new batteries.
This may change with a laptop keyboard mouse as it can drain batteries more quickly. At this lifespan, there is not much benefit to be had by using rechargeable batteries as they will only need to be replaced on an infrequent basis. Replacing batteries may be a deterrent for some users, however, it is a safe bet that a wireless laser keyboard and mouse will be the data input devices of choice until newer technology replaces them.