If you’re a road warrior who does most of their work away from a desk or an office, travel gadgets are undoubtedly an obsession, and the Air.0 mouse might just be a must-have for those who prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, but don’t want bulging out of their laptop case.
Although the creators of the Air.0 mouse do refer to its unique transforming capabilities as being origami-like, anyone who’s ever tried their hand at the Japanese art of intricate paper folding will immediately realize that folding this mouse is much easier than turning a flat sheet of paper into an elegant crane.
The Air.0 mouse has a series of pre-scored fold lines so taking it from flat to a full-size, three-dimensional mouse that fills the palm of a user’s hand is incredibly easy. A strong magnet also helps the mouse retain its 3D structure and prevents it from immediately collapsing flat again while actually being used.
Covered in a vegan leather skin that will retain its strength even after being folded again and again, the Air.0 mouse weighs in at just 40 grams. When flattened, it mostly measures in at just 4.5-millimeters thick—although there’s a tiny bulge on one end housing the optical sensor and wireless Bluetooth hardware that’s 10-millimeters thick. Minimal travel mechanical switches are used for the Air.0's left and right mouse buttons, while a touch-sensitive strip in between them allows for scrolling with simple swipe gestures. On the underside, the Air.0 also features four reinforced plastic corners with a smooth finish so the mouse can easily glides across most surfaces.
On a full charge, the Air.0 is claimed to run for about three months before needing a top-up by simply attaching a USB-C cable. But if you find it unexpectedly dies while you’re racing toward a deadline, a quick one minute charge offers an additional three hours of use in an emergency.
If you prefer the feel and functionality of a mouse, but often leave one behind when traveling to avoid the bulk, the Air.0 genuinely seems like a clever alternative, but to get your hands on one you’ll have to be willing to take on some of the risk of a crowdfunded product as its creators are trying to bring it to consumers through a Kickstarter campaign. A $49 contribution will get you one in your choice of 12 different colors with delivery expected as early as March of next year, but that’s assuming everything goes well and there’s no unexpected production delays.
Since Kickstarter’s inception there have been thousands of reasons to be skeptical about backing crowdfunded products; lots and lots of people have spent lots and lots of money and gotten nothing in return. The risk is even greater during an ongoing pandemic when supply chains have been thrown into chaos, so backer beware!