Gamers are known for populating niche sectors of a market and demanding that the industry cater to their needs, as absurd as they may sound. Enter the Naos QG by Mionix, a gaming mouse with a heartrate sensor. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $100,000 with 840 backers, it does seem like there is some interest.
But is the Mionix Naos QG worth the hefty price tag or is the technology behind it gimmicky? We find out in our review of the “smart” gaming mouse.
The Naos QG is a right-handed mouse, a bit on the larger size and is designed to be very comfortable for palm-grip users. While the ergonomic design makes it a delight to use, left-handed users may want to steer clear from this one.
The large groove on the right side of the mouse allows your ring and little finger to rest at appropriate heights. While this may be one of the most perfectly designed mice, at the end of the day, it’s all down to personal preference. While playing games, I tend to shift towards a claw grip and this renders some of these design quirks somewhat useless.
On the side of the mouse, you can find two buttons that you can bind macros or quick-actions to as well as two buttons below the mouse wheel to adjust your DPI. There are two LED lighting zones on the mouse: one on the Mionix logo and the other in the scroll wheel. RGB as they may be, they understandably pale in comparison to Razer Chroma and offer a limited range of colors to work with.
Now, the main feature of the Naos QG involves its biometric detection via a heart rate sensor that sits on the left side of the logo. The sensor emits a green light when your hand is placed on the mouse and then detects the reflections caused by blood flowing. Using these reflections and some useful algorithms, the mouse calculates an estimated heart rate.
On the other side, we have two small tin-coated copper electrodes that measure changes to the electrical characteristics of your skin. By sending tiny electrical impulses to measure skin conductivity, the GSR or Galvanic Skin Response sensor can detect states of negative and positive emotions.
On testing these sensors, I found that it definitely won’t beat an actual medical sensor in any scenario. The sensors require a steady grip on the mouse, which was a bit difficult for me to provide with my haphazard play-style. There were times when the heart rate randomly spikes or flatlines which were sometimes caused by my behavior but at times without any particular reason.
The software side of the Mionix Naos QG is handled by the Mionix Hub, which is pretty straightforward. Apart from the biometric features, the software lets you tweak the DPI, RGB lighting and set button actions. Most gaming peripherals software offer a lot more customization though, but hopefully since the software is in beta, we can expect more features in the works.
The Quantified Gaming tab makes use of the data received from the mouse’s sensors and displays it in easy-to-understand data bars. The data measured includes Heart Rate, Clicks per second and tracking speed of the mouse. The graph at the bottom measures heart rate and GSR but doesn’t really provide any scale to use, making it difficult to figure out what’s going on there.
The GSR in particular didn’t seem to provide any meaningful information. While the biometric sensors have great potential, and may find use in specific circumstances, I couldn’t find much benefit in having them in the palm of my hand. In combination with a third-party software called Overwolf, gamers can have an overlay of their real-time biometrics show on their screen while they play. This could be an interesting way to interact with players and a cool stat to show when streaming games online.
Not everyone is as understanding of the allure of the Mionix Naos QG though. If you like the design but can do without the biometric bells and whistles, you should definitely give the Mionix Naos 7000 a try.
The Mionix Naos QG is a premium gaming mouse without a doubt, with its borderline luxurious soft-touch surface and rubberized finish, coupled with some unique features by way of the biometric sensors. But with a hefty price tag of AED 499, it faces strong competition from some of the best wired gaming mice in the market and even some wireless ones.