STUDIO / DESIGNER
Jimmy Rennick ( Lead Designer ) Michael Nolan ( Design Engineer ) Cormac Ó Conaire ( Designer ) Logitech Design Team
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
For years, wireless technologies have given designers the ability to create new experiences un-tethered by cables. However, most products with batteries require users to replace them or to plug in cables when they go dead. This isn’t ideal when being wireless is central to achieving a greater experience. The emergence of eSports and Professional Video Gaming highlights a bigger challenge in having to charge wireless products. If gamers’ equipment runs out of power while competing it could cost them the game, and the multi-million prize money that goes with winning (‘The International’ gaming tournament prize money: $17m). Most Pro gamers don’t like the feel of cables coming out in front of gaming mice (friction & weight) and have even resorted to using products that elevate cables off their desk. Logitech wanted to create a solution that would provide the freedom of wireless without ever having to charge the mouse.
How the brief was fulfilled
Logitech’s Powerplay is the solution to this challenge. It’s a breakthrough wireless charging system that provides the freedom of a wireless mouse with no worry about ever having to charge it again. The truly unique aspect of the system is that it charges the products whether they are static or in use. Powerplay uses a groundbreaking application of electromagnetic resonance that creates an energy field above its surface to deliver wireless power without interfering with precise tracking or data transmission of high-performance gaming mice. A Powercore coin magnetically attaches to the base of Logitech’s gaming mice and cleverly uses the same magnets to transfer electricity to charge. To get the Powerplay right required a dedicated focus on an uncompromised solution. We worked closely with Logitech’s engineers to optimise the ideal experience that would give gamers endless charging without affecting how they already use the products. Together we established the principles of a great experience – a super-thin form factor that won’t elevate users’ hands, a generous surface to accommodate professional gamers who use large hand movements, and the option of using a mouse mat that suits anyone’s style. Powerplay is incredibly simple to set up. It works by plugging the 2mm height base into your computer, placing your desired mouse mat on it, and turning on your mouse. It automatically pairs your mouse to your computer, so you are instantly connected, with no setup time. An additional advantage of Powerplay for serious gamers is the improved signal strength of your mouse, as the receiver is positioned within the Powerplay device, optimising its location. The design is minimal, with a touch of gaming attitude in the detailing and in how the lighting behaves and synchronises with your other gaming gear. This is the world’s first wireless charging system for gaming mice, providing continuous charging whilst playing games and at rest. Your wireless mouse will never again run out of battery. ‘I can’t overstate just how ingenious and appropriate an application of technology this is.’ –The Verge