We're massive advocates of crowdfunding here at Wareable. Heck, without Kickstarter and the like we wouldn't have an original Pebble, let alone the Pebble Time or the Pebble Time Round; there would be no Canary cam and the Oculus Rift would still just be a lightbulb in Palmer Luckey's mind.
Every week we choose a particular crowdfunding campaign - usually from Kickstarter or Indiegogo - to highlight and follow. Many of these campaigns prove to be bumper success stories and some fail to ignite imaginations enough to get the cash rolling in.
But it's a mixture of the two that really irk us. Campaigns that smash their targets but then fail to deliver on promises. Projects that add weight to our initial doubts that the premise was just too good to be true.
That scenario leaves not only a trail of frustrated backers and angry commentators, but a sour taste in the mouth for crowdfunding platforms as a whole.
Here's a few examples of what's been happening lately...
WEAR - LIFX
Target hit... check. Shipped to backers... check (albeit with delays). Now on sale to the general public... check.
LIFX is a crowdfund success story and a great model of the idea to conception model that startups strive for. It's been available in the States for a while now but has recently become available in the UK as well.
LIFX originally used wireless without a bridge: bulbs would connect to one another, creating a "mesh network" based around a master bulb that talked to your Wi-Fi. That approach has been binned due to reliability issues, and LIFX bulbs now communicate directly with your Wi-Fi.
NEARLY THERE - Kokoon
Kokoon smashed its crowdfunding goal of $100,000 earlier this year, raising almost $2 million from more than 8,000 backers in the process. Four months later and there's some bad news: shipping has slipped to September 2016. The original plan was to get the connected headphones out of the door in February.
"We are sad to announce that, in order to ensure that what you receive are the highest quality headphones, our shipment is going to be delayed," said the startup in a statement.
"When producing at such a scale the margin for error is very small and the product needs to work reliably every time for the full range of head types and broadest range of scenarios."
The situation is all too common in the world of crowdfunding - i.e. campaigns that struggle to keep up with their own success. Some backers are requesting a refund of the $189 early bird price due to the delay and you can only sympathise with them.
SQUARE - BOLDR Voyage
The TravisLeon Watch Company raised $128,187 on Kickstarter last month, more than four times its objective. But it has now announced to its 654 backers that the BOLDR Voyage project has been cancelled.
The $179 Voyage smartwatch promised the looks of a classic wristwatch combined with notifications, activity tracking and a three month battery life and shipping was set for April 2016.
But in yet another casualty of the cut-throat world of wearable tech crowdfunding, the team posted this to backers: "Towards the later part of our campaign, we were hit by some sharp increases in overall costs, mainly due to the requirements of obtaining CE and FCC certifications."
The startup plans to relaunch a smartwatch campaign in future... we don't see backers being as keen to sign up next time around though.
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