In Pictures: Logitech’s Innovation Center in Switzerland
Several of these displays were seen throughout the building, flashing both positive and negative reviews of Logitech products. Having that kind of rapid-fire feedback readily available is quite the motivation tool.
Venturing down into the basement, we got our first look at the Lausanne labs. Logitech has been working on computer mice since its inception in 1981, so this is sure to be a fraction of what the company has developed in 30-plus years.
Most of the equipment in the optics lab was off-limits for photography, unfortunately, but it was chock full of custom-made testing equipment. Virtually everything in the Logitech testing labs is custom-made, which yields custom hardware in the peripherals you know and love.
Most wireless mice use one of two kinds of communication: Bluetooth, or RF. The former is usually reserved for laptop/mobile products, while the latter is used in desktop hardware.
This station tests mouse acceleration, or how accurate a mouse sensor is under high speed. It also tests accuracy on a variety of surfaces.
This machine simulates a finger, repeating the same kind of scrolling motions over the scroll pad and mouse keys. Logitech mice – in fact most PC peripherals – are rated for millions of clicks. This is one of the machines that ensures the products live up to the marketing claims.
Repetitive motions, over and over and over and…
Another test bench, this time with a focus on surface testing. How does a mouse sensor work on clean glass? Dirty glass? Rough plastic?
The glass template is not this machine at the moment – this is a hard surface template – but you can see the different quadrants, which in turn react differently with the optical sensor.
Logitech has used rapid prototyping for decades now, and 3D printing has been a part of that process for years.
This isn’t a mouse, obviously, but the process is the same — adding polymers layer by layer, several microns at a time, which results in a finished shape hours or days later.
Here’s a 3D-printed mouse prototype (for a product already for sale). Several dozen of these, minimum, are made during the design process.
Want to buy one of these bad boys new? That will be $20,000. Cash or check?
This Weiss WK1 180 is used to monitor products and prototypes under different temperatures. This kind of environment simulation machine can whip up temperatures ranging from -100 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most of the test equipment used by Logitech is built in-house, right in this machining room. Some parts are outsourced to local Swiss companies, but this full machining suite handles most of what’s required, 3D printers aside.
This looks like the kind of workbench you would find in any machining workshop or enthusiasts’ garage, only it’s in the basement of a multi-million-dollar R&D facility. Of all the different aspects of computer peripheral research and design you might think of, a machining room has to be pretty low on the list.