Moto Really Needs Your Help Coming Up With the Next Great Moto Mods

Last week, a report suggesting that LG was already abandoning modularity in phones caused some to worry about Motorola’s future in the niche. You asked us during our most recent Q&A if we thought Motorola would do the same and we responded by saying that it seemed more likely that they would continue on rather than give up. That’s because Motorola has a great implementation of modules with Moto Mods, but to succeed they need better Mods.

Today, Motorola announced a whole bunch of new initiatives to get creators and developers making the next great Mod. They’ll do so through funding at Indiegogo, Hackathons, and, investments by Lenovo Capital.  (more…)

Skully Founders Balled so Hard at the Strip Club and on Sports Cars With Your Money, They Forgot to Make Motorcycle Helmets

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…)

PayPal is Done Protecting the Crowdfunded Garbage You Keep Backing

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…)

Backing a Crowdfunded Smartphone is a Terrible Idea. [Opinion]

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…You Already Asked for a Refund, Right?

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…)

Wow, a Crowdfunded Phone That Might Not Suck

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…)

Saygus V2 Will Ship Some Day, Founders Party at E3 and Launch Indiegogo Campaign for Now (Updated)

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…)