Chicaho (IL) - It's no secret that computer keyboards and mice are among the most likely places to harbor immense populations of bacteria. Iogear promises at least a partial solution to this common problem with a new mouse that claims to kill germs by simply getting in contact with its surface.
According to the company, the "Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse" is covered in "nanocoating", consisting of "titanium oxide (TiO2) and silver nano particles that can prevent or deactivate bacteria with 99% efficiency. Instead of attracting and growing bacteria, the combination of TiO2 and light kills "parasites" and creates water, carbon and oxygen.
Iogear says that the mouse "ideal for use in highly-trafficked public areas, such as offices, libraries and schools."
While we cannot confirm Iogear's promises and the germ-killing effectiveness, the claims do not appear to be very far fetched. TiO2 in fact is currently used in food sterilization applications as well as by more expensive deodorizers and air sanitizers that rely on titanium dioxide photocatalytic reaction to purifies indoor air. However, according to published research, the reaction requires a substantial amount of ultraviolet light and depends on certain temperature ranges and pH levels.
In areas that have very little natural light, the effectiveness of the mouse could be very limited, which is somewhat underlined by Iogear's disclaimer for the use of the mouse:
"This device cannot be used as antibiotic or anti-viral medication. Do not ingest the surface material of the device under any circumstances. (...) This device does not eliminate the entire universe of bacteria or viruses. It is not a replacement for cleanliness and good personal hygiene."
Iogear sells the Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse for about $40.