There’s a fundamental hurdle when it comes to designing a mouse that’s supposed to be portable: Unlike a laptop, it’s almost impossible to make a mouse both thin and comfortable at the same time. There have been attempts to get around this, like Microsoft’s bendy Arc Mouse or Logitech’s pop-up V500 design from back in the day. But a new Kickstarter campaign might be able to claim the thinnest mouse that’s also pretty comfy, thanks to a fabric-based folding structure.
The Air.0 looks kind of like it started as a scrap from a tablet cover-kickstand. In its base state it’s just 4.5mm thin (except for a nub of a sensor area, which is about three times as thick), but it folds up along its origami creases to form the usual “hump” shape of a wireless mouse. The mouse powers on automatically when it’s magnetically assembled, and sliding feet at the four corners make it move like a typical optical mouse. Despite the super-thin profile, it uses real mechanical switches for the left and right buttons, though the central scroll “wheel” is a touchpad. A single recharge via USB-C can last for months.
The gadget (spotted by Gizmodo) would certainly be a lot easier to slip into a slim laptop case than a conventional mouse, or even hide in a pocket. But just how well it could replace a standard mouse (especially with that touch scroll area) remains to be seen. Surely the target audience of people so dedicated to portability that they’d want a paper-thin, paper-light mouse are likely already fine with just using a trackpad.
But if you’re interested in giving the Air.0 a shot, it’s available for don’t-call-it-a-pre-order now on Kickstarter, running until November 25. The cheapest tier to get a mouse costs $49, with estimated delivery in March 2023. As with all Kickstarter projects, there’s no guarantee you’ll actually receive the product that you pay for.