The Mouse For Germophobes

Alison Young
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January 12, 2007
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When I heard about IOGEAR’s germ-free mouse a few months ago, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I finally have my hands on one, literally. Its name alone would have my friends nodding their heads in agreement that this is the perfect mouse for me. My overly clean habits provide them and my husband with lots of entertaining stories to exchange, and earned me the name “Miss Monk,” after the television show Monk, based on a detail-oriented detective with extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a plane on my way to cover this year’s MacWorld and Consumer Electronics Show. An airplane is a place known to be riddled with germs, but I’m doing what I always do - sanitizing my hands before I eat anything, avoiding using this aircraft’s lavatory, and I’m not rubbing my eyes with my bare hands. These habits are something that I never think twice about, but with all that in mind, testing this mouse now is perfect timing.

Designed to address the health issue, the outer shell of the mouse is covered in nanocoating made of titanium oxide and silver nanoparticles that prevent or deactivate bacteria with 99 percent efficiency. The titanium oxide attracts water and oxygen molecules, and when these are combined with the electrons of the titanium oxide and light, free oxygen ion bases are given off. The ions restrain, clean and eliminate parasites while creating water, carbon and oxygen molecules, starting the interesting cleansing process all over again. It is ideal for high-trafficked areas such as libraries, schools or offices.

According to a recent survey by the University of Arizona, your average desk is home to 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Despite this, unless you’re me, the average person rarely cleans her desk, keyboard or mouse enough to be effective. As a result, the presence of microbes on your desk and its contents contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among many other contagious viruses.

The first thing I noticed about IOGEAR’s Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse is the huge USB wireless transmitter to plug into your computer. That thing itself is so big that it’s almost the size of a small portable mouse. Ignoring that aspect, it seems to be a somewhat decent mouse. I would use it on a daily basis. As it is already, I always sterilize (with alcohol) the desk, mice, keyboards, pens or just about anything I use every day. It’s fairly affordable for a wireless mouse, so it’s worth a try.

This germ-free mouse is compatible with Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS X (for Mac 9.x or earlier, it only works as a one-button mouse). It is powered with two AAA batteries, has an on/off switch on the bottom and has a 6-foot operating range. A solid warranty covers three years on parts and labor, and one year limited coverage on the germ-free coating. You can find it for $39.95 at

Look for tons of new things to come from both the Consumer Electronics Show and MacWorld (as mentioned above) that I’ll definitely write about. These two shows will be very exciting!

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