REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 15, 2012 — You picked that snappy wardrobe, the trendy haircut, and the stylish art for your walls. There’s no reason, then, that self-expression should stop short of technology.
Today Microsoft Hardware is expanding its collection of Artist Series mice with the release of five new designs that help infuse color, life and personality into your computing experience.
The art of Calvin Ho, Dana McClure, Matt Lyon, Yellena James and Zansky – from Australia, New York, the United Kingdom, Portland, Oregon, and Brazil, respectively – will be printed on the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 (US$29.95).
“We approached artists we really liked — some of which are emerging, and some of which have been around for a long time,” said Lindsey Kujawski, a user experience designer for Microsoft Hardware. “A lot of them are excited to work in a different medium than they’re used to. It’s such a cool thing for these artists to get their names out there, and to know that their work will be in people’s hands all over the world.”
Kujawski said Microsoft uses printing technologies that turn the mice into a blank canvas, and the art is transferred at very high resolutions.
“For someone who uses watercolors, we can even capture the texture of the watercolor painter. For a painter who uses a collage style, we can see the thickness of the paint,” she said. “It translates the artists’ work really well.”
The Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 has an ambidextrous design; a two-color battery indicator light; 2.4Hz wireless connection; snap-in transceiver that can stay your computer’s USB or be stored in the bottom of the mouse; and BlueTrack technology to help the mouse work on virtually any surface, including a park bench, granite countertops, or the living room rug.
There are new mice available in solid colors, including cyan blue and magenta on the Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 and both colors plus flame red on the Wireless Mobile Mouse 1000 (US$24.95).
The consumer appetite for stylish, expressive technology and technological accessories is on the rise, in part due to the growth of mobile computing, Kujawski said.
“As computers become smaller and smaller, we see people taking them out of the home more and more,” she said. “When they do that, they start to be aware of how their devices are a reflection of themselves. So you see people put more effort into making their technology reflect their personality, whether it’s an Artist Series mouse, a pink computer, or a bumper sticker. People use that as an outlet of self-expression — it’s really cool.”
Kujawski said Microsoft has a history of giving consumers options to customize their technology — the artist-inspired mice are just the latest.
August 14, 2012
Lindsey Kujawski is a user experience designer for Microsoft Hardware.
“Microsoft was pretty early to the game — we’ve been dabbling in it for a while. At one point Microsoft even released a leather-covered mouse. There were also a couple of back-to-college campaigns where mice matched bedding and clothing,” she said.
Along with the rise in mobile computing, one of the turning points for technological self-expression is when Microsoft Hardware started being sold at lifestyle stores such as Target rather than solely at electronics stores, she said.
Whether people choose to personalize their hardware such as mice or keyboards, or personalize by customizing their user interface in Windows Phone or Windows 8, consumers want to be able to be unique, she said.
“Having the colors or artwork you want, but also having the setup you want — I think that’s really important to customers,” she said.
In fact, she believes style and personalization will be a key part of technology in the future.
“I think it’s integral,” she said. “It’s what customers are used to, and it’s what they expect. Their technology should feel natural and like their own, and Microsoft will always find a way to try to give customers that feeling.”