You may remember the Chameleon tablet homescreen project making news last month as the developers started seeking financial backing with the aid of Kickstarter. Teknision Inc. was looking to scoop up $50,000 in small donations to make Chameleon a reality, but after crossing the threshold shortly ago, the funding was cancelled.

home morning cham canceled

According to a message on the Kickstarter page, a problem was encountered with Amazon Payments. Teknision was using an Amazon account belonging to an employee, but that employee left. Since Kickstarter can't switch accounts midstream, the company could not process the payment. Because Kickstarter only uses Amazon's service, Teknision says it will be unable to accept any of the money people have thus far pledged. Apparently, the only recourse is to cancel the current drive, and start a new one. To be clear, no one that pledged to support Chameleon will be charged.

Chameleon was announced as a better way to use a tablet. The interface looks undeniably beautiful, and it has some good functionality. Chameleon will change the layout of your homescreen based on where you are and what you're doing. The demo makes it look very sleek, but this is just a demo. They have to work out funding before you'll ever get your hands on it.

The company is claiming a new Kickstarter will be up next week, starting all over at $0. To make up for the inconvenience in some small way, Teknision is promising to throw in the wallpaper pack from the $10 donation level with all $5 and higher tiers.

[Kickstarter; Thanks, Mike]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://twitter.com/TheJauntyJester Jaunty Jester

    Well, that sucks.

  • ericl5112

    It was not an indeterminate reason.  Their Amazon Payments account was tied to their US based team member, since that's the only easy way to accept payments.  That member left.  They no longer had a payments account, and Kickstarter/Amazon would not let them change accounts mid-drive.  That's why the drive had to be cancelled, to get a new payments account in there.

    Sounds like a bit of a dick move on the part of the guy leaving, but there were no details given that I saw on that, so who knows.  He may have had his reasons.

    • RyanWhitwam

      Indeed you are right. Just missed that in the original posting. The update went live just as you posted. Apologies. 

  • Jesslyn Hendrix

    The problem was that the guy who 'owned' the Amazon payment account left the company.  Kickstarter apparently advised them to close and reopen the project.

    Original email detailing the issue (Yes, I'm a backer :D)

    Hi Kickstarters,What a strange week it has been. We went from a giant high to what might be a big low. Kickstarter is an amazing platform but a really difficult one for anyone outside of the United States. In order to set up a kickstarter account, you have to use Amazon Payments and in order to use Amazon Payments you have be an American citizen. Luckily for us, we had that covered. At least we did until today. As with any team, you can't expect all the members to stay part of the team forever. One team member's departure meant the departure of the Amazon Payment account. We are currently setting up another account and should have that done within a day and we are doing our best to contact Kickstarter to ask that we simply switch Amazon Payment accounts. As of the time of writing this post, I'm not sure if that will work. The worst case situation is that the project gets suspended. Suspended projects on Kickstarter are never renewed. So, I am sending out this update in case the project gets suspended. If it does get suspended, please contact us at: http://www.teknision.com/chameleon-news. We are fully committed to launching Chameleon. Nothing will stop us from taking it to market. We still plan on honouring you, our backers, who have made this possible. I can only be honest in what is going on and promise to do our best to make everything good.Keep the faith, fingers crossed and stay tuned.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    Lies in the hopes of getting even more money. I don't know, it just sounds too fishy to me.

    • Goldenpins

      Ive tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but I cant. It sounds strange.. 

      • ericl5112

        See above.  It's a strange (but believable) situation that I can't see them earning more money from.  Would love to hear it.

        • Goldenpins


        • Seanzky

          It's possible they saw how easily they got to $50k, had a greedy moment, cancelled, and now is hoping for even more? I'm just guessing here. It seems fishy to me too. Keep in mind this funding is so they can release it sooner. If they can't get the funding, it will be released September. They tried to sell this before to OEMs such as RIM, if I recall correctly. What are the odds the software is already done, ready for release but want to milk it first since no OEM bought it for... guess how much? That's right $50k. What if the September date is a fabricated date to provide enough time to dangle this beautiful launcher in your drooling face like a piece of steak in order to get you to reach into your pocket? Make as much as possible, build hype, spread the word, then make more on Play? Genius.

          • ericl5112

            I feel like you haven't been an independent software dev before. From somebody who has, that's not how you act.  If you're an independent dev, you spend months, or even years building a product without pay.  Very few people in that background, in my experience in being such a developer, would pass up $50K guaranteed to maybe get $55K, maybe even $60K, maybe $0.  A quite fair chance of $0, considering how narrowly they made it the first time.

            If you can get pre-sale money (which is what kickstarter basically is) you grab the opportunity with both hands.  Most of us wouldn't risk a few months pay for the chance of having an extra 10%.  It just doesn't make any sense.  It's easy to see a scam without looking too hard.  However, in this case, digging a little deeper as somebody who has a similiar background, those calling scam very little support for their claim.  Just a "doesn't feel right".  There are outliers, and people that are too greedy for their own good, but most people would take a sure paycheck.  Your idea of genius is little more than a constructed line of events that have such a slim possibility of success, and that success would not likely be a huge gain anyway.  To be frank, if that is their idea, they deserve to fail.  I don't think it is.  It's plain stupid.  Not genius.

            As for selling to OEM's, they stated they would be happy to sell to android OEM's, and they would be a separate customer compared to their play store customers.  Look at SPB Shell.  It sells to both normal people like us on the play store, and one manufacturer (Vizeo?) as an OEM skin.

    • ericl5112

      What?  If anything, this will cost them.  You make no sense.

      1) They do not get the money originally pledged.
      2) They probably will not get the blog recognition they got in their first run
      3) They almost certainty will not get a fair portion of the original backers back.

      Yet, they suddenly end up with more money.  Right.  How exactly?

    • squiddy20

      You do realize the company behind Chameleon hasn't received even 1 penny through Kickstarter, right? What happens is you "pledge" x amount of dollars and when the deadline is reached, everyone who's pledged money is charged. It's stated in the "Learn More" section, and it's even stated in the email you receive when you pledge some money for a project. Try some fact checking before making such unfounded claims first.

  • Spydie

    I don't understand why they need the funding to develop this.  Other people write programs with no money up-front.  Then most give it away, or sell it.  I'd be glad to pay a few dollars, say 2 or 3, for something like this, but only after it's developed.  At first it should be free while we work out the bugs.  In reality most geeks can set their tablets up to look and operate pretty much like this with all the tools we have for scrolling widgets and things.  Funding code writing up front is not normal.

    • http://twitter.com/set_iroN SetiroN

      Most people need a job to survive, taking the time to develop a complex application in a reasonable amount of time is not an option if when you don't have another source of income or you're not a college student (who constitute most of the developers, probably 90% of the free apps ones).
      If 10 people need two months to write an application, they definitely need $50K if they want to keep living under a solid roof.

      That said, the video seems to demonstrate a pretty advanced state of development, so unless the guy's faking interaction with a pre-rendered video... don't know.

      • ericl5112

        I think people that haven't developed apps don't understand just how much that last 10-20% of the looks and functionality take.  The app looks very close to being done far before it actually is very close to being done in my experience.

  • Jonathan Wong

    I don't think this is a scam.  After all, from what videos show, they actually have a functioning program.  

  • Daniel

    I really hope they will reach the 50k again! Would be awesome to get chameleon on my tablet!

  • Frill Artist

    It's just a scam. $50,000. Yeah, right.

  • Freak4Dell

     So they got enough suckers to fork over money the first time, huh? Wonder if they'll get that again the 2nd time.

    • GazaIan

      You must a real tool. If you read, NO ONE was charged, and the leaders of the project have not received a dime. NO ONE LOST ANYTHING.

      Would it kill you to read?