The Mouse That Called Home
In the photo included in this post you can see my new Razor Orochi mouse. It's a pretty cool mouse, but I confess I'm not entirely sure if it actually belongs to me - or at least which parts of the mouse belong to me.
In the photo you can see that there's a light in the mouse wheel. It's on at the moment, but to turn it on I had to first download the Razor Synapse software, register with the company that made the mouse [Razor], 'log in', and then change the settings of the mouse so that the light would turn on.
I wasn't impressed. Nor were a lot of other people as you can see here, and here. Razer Creative Director Min-Liang Tan attempted to respond to the criticism in a Facebook post. Sorry Mr Min-Lian Tan, but I'm calling bullshit. The opportunity for Razar wasn't about giving gamers' an online profile and cloud-based settings. It was about the incredibly useful data they're able to collect for the retail sales of their products on a global scale.
Despite claiming to offer an offline mode for the mouse you still need to create an account in order to make changes to the settings of the mouse - in particular, to turn the light on. Even after that if the mouse is unplugged and my notebook rebooted I have to 'log in' again in order to turn the light back on.
I'm not a lawyer, but I believe I am the bona fide purchaser of this mouse. It is now my personal property - including the light that's inside the mouse. Why, or more importantly, how exactly is it that am I being denied access to something that belongs to me? If I bought a fridge, would the manufacturer force me to register my product before turning on the compressor? Or if I bought a car, would the carmaker force me to hand over my personal details before allowing me to start the engine?
The light inside that mouse now belongs to me Mr Min-Lian Tan, but your company is denying me access to it and I'm not happy about it. Welcome to the 'Internet of Things'.