Have you ever been part of a crowdfunding campaign gone wrong? No doubt some of you have, and some of you may well have contributed to such campaigns through PayPal for a reason that, until now, made it quite handy in the event of such a misfortune: purchase (formerly buyer) protection. PayPal's purchase protection basically is a "guarantee" that if you buy something through PayPal and never receive it, PayPal will reimburse you the cost of your purchase. So, instead of making you play a never-ending dispute resolution game of cat and mouse with an unresponsive - or in this case, likely non-liquid-asset-possessing - seller, you just get the money back, and PayPal can choose to go after the merchant.
At this point asking people to support your crowd-funded concept device is kind of like asking them to support your "sure-fire multi-level marketing system." Sure, it could be legitimate, but it's better to just treat that money as if it's gone forever. That said, smartwatches might be the one exception. Pebble, arguably the legitimate dark horse in that small market and one of the first to successfully market itself, got started on Kickstarter. So maybe it wouldn't be fair to dismiss the CoWatch, a new smartwatch that features interoperability with Amazon's Alexa voice control system, out of hand.
Building a smartphone is not easy even for established companies like LG and Samsung. So you have to maintain healthy skepticism when a company like Saygus rolls into town and says it's going to beat the big guys at their own game. The dual-SD card Saygus V-Squared was announced back at CES, but the ship date has slipped a few times already. Now the company has hit another major snag and decided to start a shady Indiegogo campaign. Yikes.
We see a lot of questionable crowdfunding campaigns in the technology sphere. There's everything from magical multi-screen phone-laptop hybrids, to flexible wrist phones, to more dumb smartwatches than you can count. Now the people behind these outlandish projects might have a new concern to factor into the "risks" section of their pitch. The Federal Trade Commission has announced the first successful action against a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign.
In what sounds like a perversion of the crowd-funding concept, Yota has taken to Indiegogo to bring a phone that has existed since early 2014 into existence... in North America. To perform this undertaking, the company wants a paltry $50,000, and it has set a flexible funding goal to get the funds. Fortunately that's irrelevant, because it has already shattered that bar in under three hours with the help of nearly 100 funders.
While the video makes a mention of this campaign's purpose, it's easy to browse the Indiegogo page and get the impression that the YotaPhone 2 isn't yet a thing.
Hitting the slopes already comes with a fairly high wow factor, but RideOn wants to make things even more impressive with its crowd-funded augmented reality goggles for skiing and snowboarding. The project, which started on January 20th, has managed to reach its $75,000 fixed funding goal on Indiegogo.
RideOn's goggles project a virtual interface on top of the snow, appearing as though things are hovering fifteen feet in front of you. The product can produce hoops for you to swoop through or a map to keep you from getting lost. Just don't use the latter while you're speeding downhill.
Wearers navigate the interface by looking up and focusing on a UI element for a brief moment.
It's been about a year since the original Air Dock wireless car charger smashed its Indiegogo funding goal, and now v2.0 is doing the same. The fixed funding campaign had a goal of $85,000, and it's already over that with a few more weeks to go. You've still got time to secure your Air Dock 2.0, and you should probably consider it—this car dock is one of the coolest, most convenient ways to charge your phone.
It's Friday afternoon, you've been breaking your back all week at work, and you can't wait to kick back with a cold, frosty beverage. You can't bring yourself to walk into the regular bars where your choices consist of Coors and Coors Light, and your favorite beer house just ran out of the Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA. You could pick up a sixer from the store, but that just doesn't have the gravitas to impress your friends when they swing by later. Hey, you should homebrew your own beer! But, who has the time to learn and set it all up?
There was a time, a few months ago, when I would check Kickstarter and Indiegogo every couple of days for new projects. I was fascinated by the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and creators and I wanted to keep an eye on all the new ideas that were just ripe for production. I haven't lost that interest, but after investing in dozens of crowd-funded projects — most of which resulted in really great products that I use and love, thankfully — I'm a bit less obsessed and more selective in my choices. The problem that I used to face, right until today, was the lack of native applications for both sites.
Sometimes crowd funding campaigns get a little carried away making promises in an effort to attract contributors. As problematic as these projects are, they aren't usually complete nonsense. The Dragonfly Futurefön, on the other hand, looks impossible. For $400 you get a phone that docks to a computer running Windows for a dual-screen mobile computing experience. Sound crazy? Well it already has over half a million dollars on Indiegogo. Yeah, I'm worried for humanity too.