Two years ago, almost to the day, we shared an Indiegogo project for a futuristic, Android-powered motorcycle helmet that was generating all sorts of buzz from major car-related publications, the tech sector, and even celebrity chefs (random, but true). The project was for a product called Skully, which was a motorcycle helmet that included a heads-up display within the visor, rear-camera, and connectivity with your smartphone. Unfortunately, even as the campaign blew past its initial $250,000 goal and attracted investors who handed over millions of dollars, Skully is just another shining example of why backing most crowdfunded vaporware is a terrible, terrible idea.
With that said, the story of Skully’s collapse (outside of the fact that a lot of people will be without a product and money) is quite fascinating, if not entertaining. (more…)
Backing items on crowdfunded sites is almost always a pretty bad idea. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some good ideas and products come through your favorite host – like Kickstarter or Indiegogo – over the years, but the true success stories are few and far between. In many situations, products are delivered late, arrive as something far inferior to what you expected, or never materialize at all, leaving you wondering if you’ll even get your money back. Because of the uncertainty and risk, PayPal has decided that it is no longer willing to protect your funds if they are used to back crowdfunded items. (more…)
If there is one, almost guaranteed to be terrible, financial decision you could make in tech today, it would be by backing a crowdfunded smartphone. That includes those from random companies you have never heard of that open up “pre-orders” for break-through devices that have features never seen before. We’re, of course, talking about the campaigns run by companies like Saygus, Turing, Comet, and maybe even Nextbit, to a certain extent.
Why would I tell you to automatically back away from what could be the next big thing? For a number of reasons. (more…)
The Saygus V2 or V-Squared is back in the news this week, unfortunately. I don’t really have much to say about it, other than we met with them at CES and came away shaking our heads at the disaster that they have become since announcing their phone at last year’s CES. Honestly, we didn’t bother reporting on our meeting because we sort of decided to not even talk about this laughable company following their shady as hell Indiegogo campaign and 2-day, slap-in-the-face-to-backers, VIP party at E3 this past June. Not only that, but their main broseph, Chad Sayers, wasn’t around at the time we stopped by their booth and their lone PR rep wasn’t willing to just open up about how bad the past year has been.
But yesterday, they took to Twitter to basically say what they told us at CES, along with some other details. The main takeaway is that the phone is supposed to ship in Q1. It won’t, but that’s the new timeline. Rather then spend much time on this, here is a bulleted list of what’s going on for those who for some reason, have not canceled and asked for a refund. (more…)
Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Oh, wait, it’s only hate. You see, I don’t exactly believe in the idea of crowdfunding. I get that it can be a great thing for a large variety of products, but for smartphones, I have not seen much that would lead me to believe the idea of backing a smartphone, then waiting months to receive it, is a good thing. And since many of the devices don’t get reviewed by the usual tech circles, how am I supposed to know if what I am buying is any good? To keep it short, I have yet to fund a smartphone project through these avenues.
But today, a new device called Robin popped up on Kickstarter, headed by a few familiar faces that I could see myself getting behind and supporting. Created by Nextbit, the Robin looks to reinvent the way we handle storage locally on a smartphone. Instead of relying on microSD slots and set amounts of built-in storage, the Robin utilizes Smart Storage, powered by the cloud. (more…)
The YotaPhone 2 isn’t coming to the US. Even though it saw a bit of support through an Indiegogo campaign aimed at bringing it stateside, problems manufacturing the phone have caused a delay that hasn’t made it worthwhile to ship. Because of these delays, Yota Devices is worried that by the time US customers get their phones, the new 2016 YotaPhone will be ready. (more…)
Saygus and its supposedly-existent, oft-delayed “world’s most advanced” smartphone, the V2 (or V-SQUARED), stopped off in early buyers’ inboxes this morning to update everyone on potential shipping times. Well, that’s being optimistic, as the email dances around virtual mailboxes with talk of “two SIM cards!” and “Android 5.1!” before “grumble grumble grumble…we’ll ship soon!”
The email specifically states that we “are approaching time for you to receive your V-SQUARED and will notify you of your shipment soon!” There is also a mention of a production partner change that was supposedly shared with us, though I don’t recall anything about such a major change in the last delay email. All I remember was something about “quality assurance and network testing,” not completely switching to a new partner to manufacturer the phone. Hey, who’s keeping track of such details? (more…)
You shouldn’t back the Comet Smartphone because it’s a scam.
A phone with fins. Think about it. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Keep thinking about it. “Yo, I’m knock-off Alien from Spring Breakers, and this phone floats!” Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Technology. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. (Insert model to distract you as she talks about dual camera mode, a feature that is at least two years old.) Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Wub wub wub. “Hey guys, I’m the CEO, and this phone, which will never ever launch (at least not in its presented form or after four or five years worth of excuses as to why it hasn’t), is the future. It’s called Comet Smartphone.” (more…)