HP launches first NFC-equipped Touch to Pair Mouse
Posted on 20 Sep 2012 at 10:42, by Gareth Halfacree
Hewlett Packard has announced a wireless mouse which comes with an interesting feature: tap-to-pair functionality.
The Bluetooth-connected Touch to Pair Mouse, designed for use with the growing number of hybrid tablet-stroke-laptop devices hitting the market with the impending launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems, includes Near-Field Communications (NFC) capabilities. As a result, the usual tedious pairing process for Bluetooth peripherals - where the user has to place the peripheral into discoverable mode, search for devices on the host system, pick the device from a list and enter a shared passcode - is replaced with a simple tapping action.
The idea is this: when tapped against another device with an NFC radio, the mouse automatically begins the Bluetooth pairing process. By the time the two devices are out of range - with the NFC radio being limited to just a few inches, rather than the tens of metres of a modern Bluetooth radio - the pairing process is complete and the NFC radio shuts down, with the Bluetooth radio taking over for the actual data communication process.
Sadly, there is a slight catch to what is on the surface a very clever idea: very few computers on the market today include NFC radios. Although becoming an increasingly common sight in smartphones and tablets, although not having been included in Apple's iPhone 5 launch, PCs have been slow to adopt the system, for the very sensible reason that NFC is largely about waving your device at other NFC hardware - something that's awkward to do with a laptop and all but impossible with a desktop.
Should the Touch to Pair Mouse be used with non-NFC computers, HP explains, it will function as a normal Bluetooth mouse and can be paired in the traditional manner.
HP has confirmed plans to launch the Touch to Pair Mouse in November, with a US recommended retail price of $39 (around £24 excluding taxes.) UK pricing has yet to be confirmed.
Find a review
- Pioneer adds Apple CarPlay to five existing in-car multimedia systems
- Glow in the dark road concept hopes to improve driver safety
- Want to hack your car? The Tesla Model S has a secret Ethernet port
- Auto-braking cars should be subsidised by Government to save thousands of lives
- Dynaudio Excite sound system confirmed for 2014 VW Scirocco
- Apple CarPlay puts iOS on your dashboard
- Beyond iPhone 6 - Apple looking to electric cars with Tesla buy
- Take the Auto Express Driver Power survey
- Google putting Android in cars with Open Automotive Alliance
- CES 2014: In-depth, hands-on coverage from our team in Las Vegas