Crowdfunding Spotlight: The Z Mouse

Published: July 21, 2016 11:00 AM /


The Z Mouse

Proper tools are a dime a dozen for gamers. The selection of available hardware that aims to make whatever you're doing on a PC quicker, more convenient, and more responsive is getting larger every day, and while a lot of companies have settled into a comfortable design that has been proven to work well for most applications, some companies are still pushing the envelope. The Z mouse by Georgia-based manufacturer Swiftpoint aims to do just that by offering a mouse that implements some fresh ideas to inject new life into a staple of PC gaming. The cost of bringing this breath of fresh air to the real world? $140,000. With 22 days left on the counter, the mouse has already broken through $350k funding, and it doesn't seem like it's stopping anytime soon. There are no stretch goals to speak of, either. So what you see is what you'll get.

The Kickstarter for this wired device comes after another successful Kickstarter by the company, which resulted in the release of the Swiftpoint GT, which brought some new design decisions that completely changed the look of a mouse with a focus on ergonomy and usability. While the Z has the familiar shape of a classic mouse, it comes packed with new functionality specifically aimed at gamers and designers looking to update their trusty peripheral. 

A good example of this improved functionality is the mouse's ability to lift up the mouse from your mousepad and tilt it in several directions. These tilt movements can be tied to whatever action you want, like leaning past a corner in a game or controlling your favorite aircraft in a flight sim game. The Z also recognizes when you pivot the mouse on its axis, which you can bind to the in-game camera in your favorite games. These actions can also be combined to make the handling of vehicles, for instance, a lot more convenient. 

The Z has 50 buttons, which can all be assigned to specific actions as well, the most interesting of which are the trigger buttons situated under your index and middle fingers. You can click these buttons by simply stretching your finger while using the mouse pad, or you can pull back the triggers with the top of your fingers without sacrificing response times for specific actions. 

Here's a quick overview of all the buttons on the mouse: 

The main mouse buttons are both equipped with pressure sensitivity to allow you to map different actions to different amounts of pressure. You can, for instance, use a "deep click" to throttle up in racing games while using a normal click to shift up or down.

All these buttons can also be used to activate macros within Windows itself, making copying and pasting even easier than it already was. Designers can program the mouse to correspond to actions of their choice in programs like Photoshop, InDesign and CAD.

The mouse also comes with an OLED screen on the left side of the device, which automatically activates when you lift the mouse up from your mousepad and allows you to quickly set custom profiles and DPI. The top of the mouse also has a colored lightm which you can program to be the color of your choosing to make it fit with the color scheme of your room or desk. Here's an overview of the Z's specs: 

The Z Mouse specs

The risks and challenges part of the campaign is relatively light. The team mentions that they're an experienced group of people who have worked on and have delivered on their promises before. All that has to be done now is dotting the "i"s before sending it off to be produced en masse. The same team already has completed a campaign for the Swiftpoint GT mouse, which has been in consumer hands since late 2014.

The Z mouse is currently on Kickstarter and has managed to accrue more than double the amount of what was asked for the development with 22 days to go. While the lowest tier has been filled up, the second $149 dollar tier still has about a 1000 pledges left until it's filled. Pledging to that tier will get you the mouse, a cord cube for cable management, and additional tilt feet and trigger buttons you can use to customize the Z further. The estimated delivery is in December of this year and will ship to you regardless of where in the world you live. 

We have applied to receive a unit so we can find out if this is the mouse delivers on all that has been promised!


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