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Microsoft BlueTrack - under the hood

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Pookeyhead 28th February 2009, 10:03 Quote
Quote:

The BlueTrack tracking engine of the SideWinder X8 claims some serious bragging rights when it comes to the numbers, being able to process 13,000 images per second


uh huh?

Quote:


Microsoft said that all of this data can be passed to the PC via either the proprietary 2.4GHz wireless connection or a USB cable using a 500Hz report rate.



Fail!

Processing images at 13KHz, then passing over USB at 0.5KHz... Fab!
eXpander 28th February 2009, 10:06 Quote
Very nice topic, unfortunately the article was kinda superficial. I wish there was more info on the BlueTrack technology.

Should've pasted some info from the "Gaming Mouse Roundup", so people don't have to read two articles in order to better understand it.
jsheff 28th February 2009, 10:08 Quote
I think that although the mouse is capable of processing the numvers 13,000 times a second (14kHz), it only sends the data 500 times a second (0.5kHz). Besides, how much can you move a mouse in 0.002 seconds before you start complaining about lag?! Or are you capable of moving you hand faster, requiring the full 0.0000769 updates/sec?
Pookeyhead 28th February 2009, 10:21 Quote
All marketing hype for kiddies who like big numbers and bragging rights.

I can tell just by looking at that mouse it will feel awful compared to the smooth, ergonomic shape of the G5.

Maybe it's all down to the shape of your hand, and size also, but I find these hard edged, angular designs uncomfortable.

Like I said in the last post... what IS the point of making a mouse that can process images at such a high sample rate if it's just crippled by a 500Hz transfer rate over USB? Why even bother?

I'm sure retards and braggers will love it, but anyone who can do rudimentary maths will see it for what it is: A waste of time. I bet it costs more than the G5 anyway.

Also, using a LED is highly unlikely to offer better optical performance than a laser because you're essentially using a light source of more than one wavelength, and this results in chromatic aberrations and inconsistencies when focusing. A laser is a very narrow band source of a single wavelength that can be focused more precisely. It's for this reason that you have a laser in optical drives, DVD players etc.


Oh wait.... but it's BLOOOOO.

LOL

Quote:

The physics is similar to that of the “blue light” used in crime-scene TV shows to examine surfaces for police investigations.

Is this guy for real??? LOL

A: It's black light, not blue, and B, the black light only makes things fluoresce after being treated with a solution called luminol, which makes the iron in organic substances glow under UV. Try it with a "blue" light and nothing will happen.

What exactly is "specular" optics? LOL I notice there's no explanation as to what exactly that means.

At best, I'm sceptical.
Mentai 28th February 2009, 11:24 Quote
"Here we delve into the technology behind the numbers."

Yeah... was expecting to read a little more than just marketing. Surely there's nothing here that can't be found on their website? Disappointing.
ChaosDefinesOrder 28th February 2009, 11:45 Quote
you guys don't seem to know much before making these comments! firstly blue LEDs do give off some UV light, I know first hand because I work in printing and we use blue LED key lights to silhouette the paper from the barely visible yellow or white inks. so yeah a blue LED will give off UV.

Again, known from my job, there's a definite difference between processing 13000 images a second and sending the data at 500Hz. Optical mice work by scanning the images
taken for changes and translating those changes as movement. the mouse then sends the movement data to the PC. it doesn't send the raw data/images! so basically it it is processing 16 images to calculate position and movement data per transmission of coordinate data to the PC. otherwise it would be sending 13000 images a second to the PC then getting the PC to process them at that frequency which would be very data intensive and CPU hogging!
azrael- 28th February 2009, 12:13 Quote
Just to clarify something. The mouse always operates in wireless mode. The cord is merely there to charge the mouse. There was a quite comprehensive test of the Sidewinder X8 in German c't Magazin issue 05/2009 on page 77.
Pookeyhead 28th February 2009, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
you guys don't seem to know much before making these comments! firstly blue LEDs do give off some UV light, I know first hand because I work in printing and we use blue LED key lights to silhouette the paper from the barely visible yellow or white inks. so yeah a blue LED will give off UV.

That wasn't my problem, it was making a comparison to a totally different process altogether.. that was my problem.

Also, this is a stupid argument as how many surfaces need a mouse with the ability to highlight UV sensitive pigments and objects? I dunno about you, but I just use the surface my my desk. How would this benefit me?

My other problem was this "Specular" optics issue. What is it? Unless someone can clarify this, I'm going to have to assume that it's just marketing hype, as that diagram on the first page looks no different from how pretty much all optical mice work.

I still maintain that using a laser is going to produce superior results until someone can actually explain what "specular" optics actually means.
DougEdey 28th February 2009, 14:17 Quote
Is it the 1st April already?
Fod 28th February 2009, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
uh huh?






Fail!

Processing images at 13KHz, then passing over USB at 0.5KHz... Fab!

ever thought that maybe the *mouse* was doing the image processing? ;)

all you're sending over USB is X/Y/wheel tickup/down signals, and button events. the fact they can pass these over USB at 500Hz is, frankly, not exactly mindblowing.

i assume it processes so many images at once to filter out jitter - you use the results of a number of captures per event to give you a reliable motion reading.
mauvecloud 28th February 2009, 15:52 Quote
Quote:
The company also claims that the mouse can tolerate 75g (or 735m/sec2) of acceleration without losing accuracy.

Can a human actually produce that much acceleration on a mouse? According to http://www.baseball-almanac.com/chapters/cap-ch2.shtml, the highest acceleration during a fastball pitch is 2291.67 ft/sec2, which is about 698.50 m/sec2.
nickinUK 28th February 2009, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauvecloud
Quote:
The company also claims that the mouse can tolerate 75g (or 735m/sec2) of acceleration without losing accuracy.

Can a human actually produce that much acceleration on a mouse? According to http://www.baseball-almanac.com/chapters/cap-ch2.shtml, the highest acceleration during a fastball pitch is 2291.67 ft/sec2, which is about 698.50 m/sec2.

I've had a couple of gaming experances that have produced probably simular mouse pitching figures but normally the results are the purchace of a new mouse.
Still would be nice to see if it can still track accuratly as it goes through the window....
Krikkit 28th February 2009, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
ever thought that maybe the *mouse* was doing the image processing? ;)

all you're sending over USB is X/Y/wheel tickup/down signals, and button events. the fact they can pass these over USB at 500Hz is, frankly, not exactly mindblowing.

i assume it processes so many images at once to filter out jitter - you use the results of a number of captures per event to give you a reliable motion reading.

Bingo. 500Hz is more than enough for decent, reliable tracking in the computer, but if you want proper motion analysis then 13kHz or whatever is perfectly reasonable, and probably quite necessary. Not to mention the extra resolution from using a blue rather than red/infrared light source.

What I want to know is will they be putting that tech into a sensibly priced non-"gamer" oriented mouse anytime soon? I'm not paying £90 for a mouse, even if it gives you sexual favours.
Fod 28th February 2009, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit

What I want to know is will they be putting that tech into a sensibly priced non-"gamer" oriented mouse anytime soon? I'm not paying £90 for a mouse, even if it gives you sexual favours.

are you sure about that? seems like such a mouse would be pretty good value for money...
Nicb 28th February 2009, 19:45 Quote
I like what I'm hearing hear, this is a smarter mouse. But again like I said in my other post, I can not ask for more in my Logitech MX Revolution. I paid $99 and it does everything with out complaint. After reading this article I tested my mouse just to see where it lacked. I would be amazed to see a "noticeable" difference between the X8 and mine. I used a mouse pad :P, my glass covered desk, book, paper, my shirt, plastic, and carpet, and saw no difference. Then I took my mouse back 9 to 10 feet and used it on the carpet before I started to see a slight lack in response because of the distance. 6 to 8 feet works great on carpet. This mouse works very well with every day applications even knows what your working with to auto change its settings. I'm a gamer too, almost play every night, I've had gaming mice, and the MX is far better than what I've had. I think gaming mice are half gimmick.
I would like to see comparison test between some popular "high end" and "high performance" mice. Lets see if all this really makes a difference or not. I'm thinking not really. Maybe I just need to own one to know the difference........ or read a comparison review. :)
Pookeyhead 28th February 2009, 20:18 Quote
I agree.. It will make no difference. You're paying £40 more than most other mice for the right to say "It can track while enduring 75G!.. ZOMG!"!!!!!11111"


This is just all marketing hype.
Sark.inc 1st March 2009, 08:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauvecloud
Quote:
The company also claims that the mouse can tolerate 75g (or 735m/sec2) of acceleration without losing accuracy.

Can a human actually produce that much acceleration on a mouse? According to http://www.baseball-almanac.com/chapters/cap-ch2.shtml, the highest acceleration during a fastball pitch is 2291.67 ft/sec2, which is about 698.50 m/sec2.

Jesus Christ, you read that and came straight to the comments didn't you?
Quote:
our Microsoft Hardware engineers have been able to tune the BlueTrack Technology performance specifications specifically for speed and acceleration that now exceed measurements of known human capability
Gremlin 1st March 2009, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
Is this guy for real??? LOL

A: It's black light, not blue, and B, the black light only makes things fluoresce after being treated with a solution called luminol, which makes the iron in organic substances glow under UV. Try it with a "blue" light and nothing will happen.

Your a bit off the mark here, while you are right that luminol reacts with blood to luminesce under UV light but pretty much you need to wear orange glasses to see it best so it doesnt just do it on its own with luminol

on its own can be used to see other fluids and even creatures etc and some thigns on their own flouresce under UV light , ever shone a black light on something white, or seen how a scorpion lights up for example?

also a black light isnt all thats used, they also use whats called an Alternate Light Source or ALS which shows light at differing wave lengths to see different things

so for all we know the wave length put out by the blue LED is good enough for picking up surface inconsistancies to use to track movement, whatever it is they have made it work so props to them
quake1-rules 1st March 2009, 19:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
uh huh?






Fail!

Processing images at 13KHz, then passing over USB at 0.5KHz... Fab!

The primary 'fail' here is your ignorance in how a mouse determines movement before that movement can ever be sent over the USB/wireless connection. So in this case, the mouse takes 26 samples to determine 1/500th of a second of movement. Makes sense to me.
quake1-rules 1st March 2009, 19:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
Like I said in the last post... what IS the point of making a mouse that can process images at such a high sample rate if it's just crippled by a 500Hz transfer rate over USB? Why even bother?

The 13k sample rate of the sensor helps the mouse determine movement before that movement can ever be sent over the USB/wireless connection. So in this case, the mouse takes 26 samples to determine 1/500th of a second of movement. Makes sense to me.

Doesn't mean the mouse isn't a piece of junk.. I'm just saying that the 13k sample rate should not and can not be tied to the USB transfer rate. They are two entirely different stages of the process.

I'll lay it out in simple terms:

Step 1: Take samples at 13khz sample rate
Step 2: Determine movement from those samples by comparing ~26 samples
Step 3: Send movement to computer via USB connection (500 hz transfer rate)

That said, this article does read like a company propaganda piece.
metarinka 2nd March 2009, 05:41 Quote
really, is there any negative to increasing tracking rate? and resolution? yah the data is limited to 500hz and well the refresh rate on monitors is usually 50-60 hz and human reaction time is what? 10-12hz? so it's all kinda arbitrary, but my guess is that a faster tracking rate would = better results for the "pro's" who use a very big mouse pad and really move their mouse.


I don't doubt that a lot of it's hype and if your mouse is giving accurate tracking results on the surface you use then your set. personally my older 1st or 2nd gen optical mouse goes ballistic whenever it picks up a piece of dirt (which seems like it happens a lot) and i want to upgrade it. I don't like the angular look or feel of the sidewinder mice, so i would never get them.

but the surface i use (white resin table) gives some mice troubles and I would just like a newer mouse with more buttons and good tracking, everything else is hype
Pricester 2nd March 2009, 08:18 Quote
Quote:

The physics is similar to that of the “blue light” used in crime-scene TV shows to examine surfaces for police investigations.
Oh, I see - it doesn't really exist!

(The word "really" is there as a sop to pedantic people who will undoubtedly now explain that actually, what we see in CSI etc. is completely true, since in episode 123 they did actually show the CSI team spray with Luminol before using an ALS. Whatever - it's still nothing like what really goes on in a police department who's annual budget is less than one hour of CSI...)
Fod 2nd March 2009, 09:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricester
Oh, I see - it doesn't really exist!

(The word "really" is there as a sop to pedantic people who will undoubtedly now explain that actually, what we see in CSI etc. is completely true, since in episode 123 they did actually show the CSI team spray with Luminol before using an ALS. Whatever - it's still nothing like what really goes on in a police department who's annual budget is less than one hour of CSI...)

you just said 'it doesn't exist, except it does.'

circular, self-contradictory statements FTL.
Nikumba 2nd March 2009, 13:45 Quote
[QUOTE=Krikkit]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
What I want to know is will they be putting that tech into a sensibly priced non-"gamer" oriented mouse anytime soon? I'm not paying £90 for a mouse, even if it gives you sexual favours.

2nd page of the article clearly shows the iamge of the Microsoft Explorer Mouse which retails for about £40 on play, and that is a non-"gamer" mouse

Kimbie
xion 2nd March 2009, 17:59 Quote
this new technology phrase seems a bit of a stretch to me, but as always feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...
1. Replace red LED with Bloooo1 = increased contrast...
2. Replace standard optics with more precision crafted optics = increased resolution
3. er... Nooo Name! ...
4. Profit...

Unless the price tag is easy to swallow this is heading right off the edge of diminishing returns, targeted right at the uberleet* kiddies...


You know who you are :P "

"no fair I shoulda won that but [insert below standard excuse] was throwing me off!!!1"

Mouse input lag
Monitor Lag
Keyboard Lag
Pings were in the teens
sun was shining on the screen
dead pixel
mouse mat too shiny
Mouse mat too rough
background tasks eating my cpus
I forgot to turn all my grafix to min to get moar frames
there was a power spike in my grid causing a temporary reversal in 10% of the electron spin in my graphics subsystem...

too far... yes... I need coffee . and its time for my bitter anti-cynic pill
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