When we spoke to Dagadam back in October last year, the startup had taken the drastic decision to cancel the Kickstarter campaign for its smartwatch within days of going live, despite having racked up just shy of €30,000 in its quest to raise €450,000.
Why was it cancelled? Dagadam's chief product officer and director Mandu Dragos revealed how it had neglected the importance of marketing to ensure the campaign was successful.
"The first time, we didn't have enough money to have an actual marketing campaign and that's one of the reasons we stopped it," he said. "Even if you have the greatest product in the world, if you don't have marketing, it just won't work.
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Six months on and the Dagadam Watch is back on the crowdfunding campaign trail. It's smashed through its £80,000 target with days to spare and now the company plans to ship its device out to backers in June this year.
Solving the big software problem
One of the other factors that prompted Dagadam to abort the first campaign was to develop its own operating system, and it even suggested the prospect of using Google's Android Wear instead. Dragos told us that there were conversations with Google but details of those talks are confidential.
In the end, the startup has turned to another Android-based operating system. That OS is Ticwear, developed by AI company Mobvoi, that has already made an appearance on the Ticwatch 2 smartwatch. There's a demo of Ticwear in action on the Kickstarter campaign page but it's not the complete version that will ship.
"Ticwear is a very good option besides Android Wear", Dragos told us. "They've done a lot of work on the UI and I really like it. Besides our new features we will introduce, the operating system is almost the same. In the future we want to add our own features and maybe even change the UI. If we want to add new watch faces, we can do that, and so on."
Those new features that Dragos refers to largely focus on the new thin touch bezel (or 'Sense' bezel) on the outer edge of the display, and sounds functionally similar to the Tickle strip on the Ticwatch.
But it's still an Android and iOS-friendly smartwatch with the same circular, aerospace-inspired design, fitness features like GPS, a heart rate monitor and up to three days of battery life. Its AI-based notification system that delivers notifications based on apps and services you like to read first is still going to be part of the software setup as well.
While Dagadam is very happy to be working with Ticwear, it's aware that it's not the finished article and is hoping to rectify one issue that could hamper the success of its smartwatch.
"There are some limitations with iOS support," said Dragos. " So, if you receive a notification, you can't reply at the moment. We are going to get that working because it's a pretty big issue for us and them too. We really want to make the features equal for both platforms."
Life after crowdfunding
With the money now raised, Dragos has outlined what else needs to be done to get the Dagadam Watch shipped. "With the extra six months, we've been able to invest a lot into the development of a new prototype," he said. "The next step is to finish the final prototype, the final one is the product that can be shipped to customers if we want."
Getting into mass production will not be too hard to do. The time consuming part will be the development of the operating system. We are going to finish our final prototype and then go to mass production."
As smartwatch startups start to get drowned out not only by tech companies, but a whole host of designer brands and traditional watchmakers, here's hoping Dagadam can carry the torch and really deliver with its ambitious smartwatch.
Did you back the Dagadam Watch? What do you think of the new strategy? Let us know in the comments.
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