From the horse’s mouth
This mouse is the first to use the Wi-Fi technology as a “personal area network” i.e. to use a network technology to connect peripherals to a host computer. At the moment it requires the host computer to run Windows 7 and implement the “virtual network adaptor” technology in its Wi-Fi chipset.
Furthermore, the host computer needs also to run a device-monitor applet supplied by HP with this mouse. This whole functionality could be improved through the use of code being integrated in Windows 7.
This mouse is expected to have a 9 month battery life which is meant to be longer than with devices that run current Bluetooth technology. I would see that as a coup for Wi-Fi when it comes to applications ranging from mice and keyboards to other “sensor and control” applications like barcode readers used in business; remote controls or health-monitor devices. As well, if the chipsets used in this mouse are implemented in smartphones, PMP / MID devices (iPod Touch, etc) or tablet computers, this could help with improving device runtime when they are used with Wi-Fi networks.
As far as the software is concerned, I would like to have HP avoid “reinventing the wheel” for Wi-Fi mice, keyboards and similar peripherals by making use of “class drivers” that have been defined for USB or Bluetooth human-interface devices.
There is one question that could be asked about this device as in whether it could work over the regular wireless network using the network’s router or access point and sending the data back to the host computer via that local area network, rather than the host PC’s wireless adaptor being virtualised as an access point. This may be of concern with people who run a desktop computer that doesn’t have integrated Wi-Fi but is connected to a the network via Ethernet or HomePlug and this network has a Wi-Fi segment serviced by a wireless router or access point.
A similar setup has been achieved with the myRemote Android app which converts an Android smartphone in to a mouse or remote control for a computer. This one uses the regular wireless network and requires knowledge of the host computer’s IP address and that computer has to run a monitor program downloaded from the myRemote developer’s Web site.