Tech brands are forcing AI into your gadgets—whether you asked for it or not.

to enlarge / Tech brands love to shout about the thrills of AI these days.
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Logitech announced a new mouse last week. A company representative informed Ars about Logitech's “new wireless mouse.” The gadget's product page reads as of this writing.

I've had good experience with Logitech mice, especially the wireless ones, one of which I'm using now. So I was eager to see what Logitech had done to improve on their previous wireless mouse designs. A quiet click? A new shape to better accommodate my overworked right hand? Multiple onboarding profiles in a business-ready design?

I was disappointed to find that the most distinguishing feature of the Logitech Signature AI Edition M750 is the button located south of the scroll wheel. This button is pre-programmed to launch the ChatGPT prompt builder, which Logitech recently added to its peripherals configuration app, Options+.

This is too much.

Beyond that, the M750 looks exactly like the Logitech Signature M650, which came out in January 2022. In addition, the new mouse's forward button (on the left side of the mouse) is pre-programmed to launch Windows or macOS dictation, and the back button opens. Chat GPT within Options+. As of this writing, the MSRP of the new mouse is $10 higher ($50) than the M650.

I asked Logitech about the M750, which looks like the M650 but with an extra button, and a spokesperson responded by saying:

The M750 isn't actually a mouse like the M650. It has an additional button that is pre-programmed to trigger the Logi AI Prompt Builder after the user installs the Logi Options+ app. Without Options+, the DPI button toggles between 1,000 and 1,600 DPI.

However, a reprogrammable button south of the mouse's scroll wheel that can be set to launch an app or toggle DPI out of the box is very common, including in Logitech mice. A Logitech representative further claimed to me that the two mice use different electronic components, which Logitech calls the mouse platform. Logitech may reuse the platform for different models, the spokesperson said.

A Logitech representative declined to comment on why the M650 doesn't have a button south of the scroll wheel. Price is one possible reason, but Logitech also sells cheaper mice with this feature.

Still, the minimal differences between the two suggest the M750 isn't worthy of a full product release. I doubt the M750 would have been promoted as a new product if it weren't for Logitech's innovative software feature.

The M750 also raises the question of how many computer input devices need to be equipped with some sort of buzzy, creative AI-related feature.

Logitech's chat GPT prompt builder

Logitech's big release last week wasn't a peripheral, but an enhancement to its Options+ app. You don't need a “new” M750 mouse to use Logitech's AI Prompt Builder. I was able to program my MX Master 3S to start it. Many Logitech mice and keyboards support AI Prompt Builder.

When you press a button that launches the prompt builder, an Options+ window appears. There, you can enter text that Options+ will use to generate a ChatGPT-appropriate prompt based on your needs:

to enlarge / An image provided by Logitech showing its AI Prompt Builder software feature.


After you make your selection, another window opens with ChatGPT's response. Logitech said Instant Builder requires a ChatGPT account, but I was able to use GPT-3.5 without entering it (the feature may work with GPT-4 as well).

The typical Arsian probably doesn't need help creating a ChatGPT prompt, and Logitech's new capability doesn't work with any other chatbots. The prompt builder may be interesting for less technically savvy people who are interested in some hand-holding for early experiences with ChatGPT. However, I doubt that people with a rudimentary understanding of generative AI need immediate access to ChatGPT.

The point, though, is instant access to ChatGPT capabilities, something Logitech is arguing is valuable to its professional users. Some Logitech users, though, disagree, particularly with the AI ​​Prompt Builder, meaning Options+ has even more resources behind it.

But Logitech isn't the only gadget company eager to tie one-touch AI access to hardware buttons.

Pinch your earbuds to talk to ChatGPT

Likewise for Logitech, nothing is trying to give its users instant access to ChatGPT. In this case, access is by pinching the device. This month, Nothing announced that it had “integrated Nothing earbuds and Nothing OS with ChatGPT to give users instant access to knowledge directly from the devices they use most, earbuds and smart phones.” Phones.” The feature requires the latest Nothing OS and users must have a Nothing phone with ChatGPT installed. Chat GPT indicators work with Nothing's Phone (2) and Nothing Ear and Nothing Ear (a), but Nothing plans to expand to additional phones through software updates.

to enlarge / Nothing ear and ear (a) earbuds.


Some also said it would embed “system-level entry points” into ChatGPT, such as screenshot sharing and “nothing-style widgets,” into nothing smartphone OSes.

to enlarge / A look at setting up ChatGPT integration on the Nothing X app.

Nothing's ChatGPT integration may be a little less intrusive than Logitech's because users who don't have ChatGPT on their phones won't be affected. But, again, you might be surprised how many people asked for this feature and how reliably it would work.

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