Can an optical mouse damage your eyes?

  justjill 15:10 13 Jan 2006
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I have a 13 month old son who is obsessed with our optical mouse. We try to keep it out of his way but he's very ingenious and often manages to get hold of it. When he he does he will spend ages clicking the buttons and looking at the red light on the bottom. I'm a little bit worried that the light will damage his eyes. Am I right to worry or is it safe?

Many thanks,
Jill

  Taw® 15:17 13 Jan 2006

Better being safe than sorry, anything shining into the eye in concentrated form can be nothing but bad for the sight. I would ensure that when not being used then it is placed well out of his road.

  sunny staines 16:45 13 Jan 2006

don't know, but photocopiers with the lid up can lead to damaged eyes

  Stuartli 16:50 13 Jan 2006

Doesn't seem to cause any problems for supermarket checkout staff with barcode readers.

I'm sure that if there was any safety issue such products would not be available or, at least, come with a prominent warning.

  Stuartli 16:52 13 Jan 2006

...come with a prominent warning not to expose to your eyes either briefly or for a period of time.

  Stuartli 16:56 13 Jan 2006

IIRC optical mice use an LCD (bright red light showing) which is what I am referring to, but a genuine laser mouse would certainly need a different approach.

  Biotech 17:02 13 Jan 2006

If you are worried then stop it. It may well cause no harm but why take a chance. Can you get him a mouse to play with without a light in it, but be aware of small components etc.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:02 13 Jan 2006

The mouse has a small, red light-emitting diode (LED) that bounces light off that surface onto a complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. The CMOS sensor sends each image to a digital signal processor (DSP) for analysis. The DSP, operating at 18 MIPS (million instructions per second), is able to detect patterns in the images and see how those patterns have moved since the previous image. Based on the change in patterns over a sequence of images, the DSP determines how far the mouse has moved and sends the corresponding coordinates to the computer.

The lght emitted from a red LED is not harmful to eyesight , the power output is so small to cause no harm whatsoever.

The more you take it off him the more he will try and play with it (basic human nature). Let him play with it he'll sonn get bored and more on to something else.

  justjill 17:37 13 Jan 2006

If it's not harmful I might get him his own mouse to play with. I wouldn't mind him playing with ours but he bangs it off table tops and it's going to get broken. And to think of all the presents he got for Christmas and all he wants is a mouse...;)

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