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Optical mouse is a computer pointing device that uses a light-emitting diode (LED), optoelectronic sensor and digital signal processor (DSP) to detect changes in reflected light from image to image. An optical mouse uses special-purpose image processing chips, as the mouse takes over 1,000 images/ps below the surface level to detect movement through reflected light changes. This allows usable movement data to be generated by the DSP and sensor.
Because an optical mouse does not have moving parts, it does not need to be cleaned - eliminating mechanical failure. An optical mouse is optimally used on surfaces that reflect but scatter light. Unfrosted glass is a poor surface option because small image irregularity detection is nearly impossible.
An optical mouse is more precise than a pointing device if used on the right surface, resulting in more efficient computer operations. Most surfaces used with an optical mouse reflect and scatter light - eliminating the need for mouse pads.
The MS IntelliMouse, released in 2001 by Microsoft with a technology developed by Hewlett Packard, was the first commercially successful optical mouse. In 2004, Logitech and Agilent Technologies introduced the MX 1000 laser mouse, which replaced the LED with an infrared laser diode that significantly increased image resolution, resulting in 20 times more surface tracking power. The MX 1000 works best on a mirror or transparent glass.
In August 2009, Logitech introduced the Darkfield Laser Tracking mouse with two lasers for tracking on glass and glossy desk surfaces.