Weird as it may seem given our reliance on computers, humans aren’t really built to use mice. And twisting your wrist and body to accommodate this strange, unnatural device for eight hours a day can put your body under all kinds of unwelcome strain.

An ergonomic mouse can help alleviate that discomfort, and Swiftpoint knows an awful lot about making them. The Kiwi company has been in the business of making mice better designed for humans for over a decade, and has collected seven CES Innovation Awards in the process. 

Now its latest mouse for Mac and PC, the ErgoPoint, is imminent. Swiftpoint has already completed a successful crowdfunding round on Kickstarter, raising just shy of NZ$100,000 in the process. 

Disclosure: Swiftpoint made a contribution towards the editorial costs required to create this article.

It’s an impressive return for a company that is still an underdog in the global marketplace of peripheral manufacturers. “As a New Zealand start-up tech company we’re a small fish in a very big pond,” SwiftPoint’s Sean Tiernan concedes.

Thankfully, positive word of mouth does a lot of the company’s advertising for it. After all, if you’d found a mouse that suddenly alleviated your aches and pains, you’d probably be shouting from the rooftops, too. “I’ve been solely using a SwiftPoint pen-grip mouse for six months and my hand pain is totally gone,” enthuses one Norwegian customer. “I’m so glad to be pain free.” 

As well as being designed to reduce or eliminate aches and pains with its ‘handshake design’, the latest product is intended to assist those struggling to adjust to the working-from-home revolution, with a suite of extras collectively known as the WFH Express Toolkit. With these, users can annotate and highlight anything on screen, as well as use their ErgoPoint as a virtual laser pointer, spotlight or magnifier to highlight on-screen content for remote Zoom viewers.

“Our work from home features came about after the pandemic hit and we realised our aspirations of bricks and mortar and travel retail were quickly going down the drain,” Tiernan tells me. This, along with software which turned the company’s mice into presentation remotes had “become redundant overnight”.

The solution was to embrace the new remote-working normals. “Our software developers quickly started iterating on what they’d previously made and enabled a screen overlay to provide digital laser pointer, spotlight, magnifier, text and highlighter tools to make presenting via video easier, but also providing a handy mark-up and collaboration tool literally at your fingertips.”

New Zealand has been less impacted by Covid-19 than much of the world, but as a global company Swiftpoint had to look across the sea at countries that have faced frequent lockdowns and repeated WFH orders. “Like many New Zealand companies, we’re largely focused on exporting our goods to the world,” Tiernan explains, adding that the top three markets for the company’s products are the US, Germany and Japan.

“Kiwis do punch above their weight,” he adds, with New Zealanders chipping in nearly 10% of sales at a recent product launch, second only to the USA. Not bad, considering New Zealand has roughly 1.5% of the population.   

The Kickstarter has now closed, but anybody who missed out can still get in on the action on Indiegogo where a second campaign has just gone live with prices starting at NZ$70. 

Now the company has a few successful crowdfunding campaigns behind it, I asked Tiernan whether he has any tips for Kiwis looking to be the next big Kickstarter success story. He has three tips: start strong, don’t overpromise and — most importantly of all — communicate clearly and authentically. 

“Supporting crowdfunding campaigns isn’t the same as a direct e-commerce purchase,” he explains. “Backers are supporting your vision and trusting you to deliver what you promise. Being clear, honest and keeping backers in the loop is a key, and a great way to build long-lasting support.”

You can back ErgoPoint on Indiegogo now

Disclosure: Swiftpoint made a contribution towards the editorial costs required to create this article.