Time to confess. I am a gamer, a hardcore one at that: Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Hearthstone, you name it. When most of my friends were dreaming of owning football or hockey clubs, I always thought that being a part of or managing an e-sports team would be infinitely more fun.
Gaming is a lifestyle and it is also a sport. Like in any other professional sport – equipment always evolves and you need to have the best of the best to stay at the competitive level. This is true for any sports, from football shoes that evolved over the decades, to even billiard tables and balls.
Even though E-Sports is relatively new – the innovation cycles are short and the tools are changing fast: keyboards, headphones, computers, screens and mice. Out of those, the mouse is arguably the most important as it is basically an extension of your arm.
Back in high-school, I was so much in love with getting the best mouse available, that I earned the nickname – “Logitech” as that was the best company at the time. After all, they brought lasers to a gun fight. Even now, I hesitantly switched away from my Logitech MX518 that was practically glued to my right hand for almost a decade. It was worn out, it was old, but it functioned perfectly and I did not want to let it go, but I had to.
The reason? Mionix, a swedish gaming peripherals company, sent me a review unit of their Avior 7000 mouse. Basically, I promised them to “try it out” and I never looked back. The first game of Dota 2 was difficult, but from there onwards, me and my new mouse were one and the same.
The biggest test that I gave it was to try to switch back to MX518. Could not do it. The mouse felt old, slow, and not accurate enough. Avior 7000 is now my permanent mouse.
That being said, the evolution of professional gaming mice can’t be said to be too drastically innovative. Most changes – were gimmicks. Multitouch mice, mice tailored to specific games such as World of Warcraft, customization of ergonomics, better responsiveness.
After 2004 onwards, the responsiveness was basically good enough, ergonomics was more or less solved and researched very carefully and the effect of top of the line mice on your game-play was questionable.
That is all about to change, I think, as Mionix annouced a brand new mouse – the NAOS QG on Kickstarter campaign that will measure your heartbeat, actions per minute and movement data. Not only that, but they will also overlay this in-game and record the data so you can later analyze it along with the game replay.
Whether this is a game changer for your average player is again questionable, but for e-sports it is massive. You can see your team-mates heart-rate, you can have a lot more metrics for trainings, you will know how you and those around you perform in competitions, under stress, you can practice your mouse movements better and a lot more.
If all that information is not enough, the killer feature is that they will have an open and free API to all of the data. So game developers can make sweat run on your characters hands when your stress levels go up. They can also predict the best moments to scare you or let things go a bit. Or you can use all the data to do advanced analytics on your gaming. It’s up to you.
The company is looking to raise $100k on Kickstarter and has gathered over $39k with 33 days to go.