The History| The Journey| The Swiftpoint Team
The History of Swiftpoint and the Swiftpoint Mouse...
Swiftpoint is a New Zealand-based, technology company that seeks to improve people’s computer experiences by introducing novel, well-designed peripheral technology products. The company was renamed Swiftpoint, from Simtrix, in 2009 to reflect the company’s focus on its ingenious laptop mouse product, the Swiftpoint Mouse.
Over eight years ago software engineer and Swiftpoint founder Grant Odgers decided that his laptop's touchpad was preventing him from being a truly mobile computer user. Grant, like many others he discovered, found touchpads to be very inaccurate and inefficient substitutes for a mouse. However, if he wanted to be able to use his laptop away from a table or desk, there was really no other alternative. So Grant slipped on his inventor’s hat, convinced some friends and venture capitalists to invest in his ideas and began working on a concept for a small, portable mouse that could actually be used on your laptop surface itself.
In 2008, the company introduced two revolutionary mice concept designs, the “Swiftpoint Slider” and “Swiftpoint Triped”, at CEBIT in Hanover, Germany. The CEBIT unveiling attracted enormous attention, including coverage by international media and interviews with the BBC and CNN. With this strong interest for the Swiftpoint products, in particular for the Swiftpoint Mouse, a decision was made to channel resources into launching this flagship product.
Our focus is on improving efficiencies. We believe that the current options of computer laptop touchpads and mice do not provide the most efficient or convenient experience for users, and we are striving to change this with the Swiftpoint Mouse. It has been a long journey that has included some serious investment in research and design, the development and testing of multiple product concept variations and many rounds of user testing.
With the help of Bowmast User Experience & Design Research...Here's how we did it
We began with 8 working prototypes.
Each had different combinations of shapes, features and functions. (button position, grip surfaces etc.)
To compare and evaluate ergonomics and ease of use for each version, we carried out qualitative research with a demanding sample of the target market.
Observing natural behaviour
During ‘test drives' we observed natural behaviour and use. We captured valuable feedback relating to each prototype, as notes and on video.
Seeing the wood for the trees
Our analysis process made sense of a sea of data, mapping detailed observations and feedback to specific design features.
Patterns and themes
Clear overall themes emerged, allowing product designers to clearly see what worked well, (and what didn't) amongst the 8 prototypes.
Findings from the analysis suggested likely shapes, features and functions to roll into the next round of 4 prototypes.
Iterating the design
...and importantly, which to leave behind.
We gave 4 new prototypes to a fresh and diverse sample of laptop users.
They recorded their experience of using each mouse in different contexts, then talked us through their experience in a series of exit interviews.
To find out how we arrived at the final design, read the full story.
Thanks to Bowmast for allowing us to re-publish his material here.
The outcome of these efforts was the launch of the Swiftpoint Mouse in 2010 and we are so happy with it that we decided to make the claim that “it will change the way you use your laptop ... forever”.
The Swiftpoint Mouse is small and portable and feels very natural to use due to its pen-like grip. Requiring only the palmrest beside the laptop touchpad to operate, the Swiftpoint Mouse provides for laptop computer users freedom without compromise: The freedom to use their laptop to work and play, whenever and wherever they wish, while still maintaining the functionality and performance they want from a mouse.
The Swiftpoint Team
Grant Odgers - CEO and Swiftpoint Mouse inventor
Grant is the founder and CEO of Swiftpoint and the inventor of the Swiftpoint mouse. When he was 13 years old he wrote his first computer program on a Commodore 64 – a program to graph and compare share prices. At 17 he completed a Business Computing Diploma, majoring in COBOL, and after receiving the award for 'most outstanding student', won a scholarship at the Unisys Linc Development Centre and worked for seven years as a Software Engineer and Architect based in New Zealand, and the US.
At the age of 26 Grant co-founded one of the first specialist video game stores in New Zealand which today, is the largest store in the country.
Grant has always had a passion for advancement in HCI (Human Computer Interaction). He built and tested his first "mouse and keyboard replacement" device 20 years ago and has since published many user interface research papers. In 2007 one of his papers received recognition by the Australian Computer Society and was presented at the annual user interface conference held at the University of Ballarat, Australia. In 2008, his latest innovation, the Swiftpoint Mouse, received a New Zealand gold medal design award.
Grant is married with three children and lives in a picturesque rural town on the outskirts of Christchurch, New Zealand. In his spare time you might find him playing indoor cricket, fishing with his son or tinkering about with the next idea he would like to introduce to the world.
Hassan Wong - CFO
Hassan joined Grant at Swiftpoint in 2009 after a decade working in finance and accounting roles. The concept of the Swiftpoint mouse resonated with his memories of sitting in a cramped airplane seat, spreadsheeting on his laptop with a micro mouse that gave him hand cramps for weeks afterwards. Being part of a small, dynamic and fun start-up also appealed.
Hassan is married with two young daughters and enjoys red wine and scotch whisky, scuba diving and trying to keep Grant's inventive ideas grounded in reality.
To get in touch with any of the Swiftpoint Team, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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