After gathering a little over $36K of the $500K needed, ZTE’s Hawkeye campaign on Kickstarter has been shut down. This move follows a frantic request by the company’s Project CSX team to discover what would make this phone more attractive to potential buyers. As we can see, that didn’t work out too well. (more…)
A week ago, ZTE’s Project CSX unveiled the complete spec sheet for the crowdsourced Hawkeye smartphone. For a $199 introductory-priced smartphone with eye-tracking software and a sticky backside, the specs seemed fine, considering the low cost.
Highlights from that spec sheet are a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage, 5.5″ FHD display, and rear-facing fingerprint reader. As it turns out, though, this phone is exciting nobody, with ZTE currently sitting at $35K of the $500K goal they need to reach by February 18. (more…)
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…)
Yesterday, we wrote that Pebble was teasing something new on its website with a countdown, but no one knew exactly what the countdown was counting towards. First thought to possibly be the launch of a new wearable, we now know that Pebble is back on Kickstarter, looking for $1,000,000 in funding to build a trio of new wearable devices — the Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and an all-new Pebble Core. (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…)
Kickstarter’s most-funded game, Exploding Kittens, is now available for download from Google Play. Priced at $1.99, Exploding Kittens is a multiplayer card game that has been redeveloped for mobile devices. On mobile, you can play online with strangers from across the world, or you can choose to play offline with friends. The game supports 2-5 players.
The game is essentially a kitty version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until they draw an Exploding Kitten. If that is done, the player is dead and can no longer play. However, if that player has a defense card, such as a Catnip Sandwich or Laser Pointer, that player continues. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens. (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…)
Nextbit is pushing back the shipping date of the Robin smartphone for CDMA networks, the company announced through its Kickstarter page. In an update to backers, the company admits it was being a bit, “optimistic,” and “got a little carried away,” in the excitement of a successful campaign.
The CDMA Robin was previously estimated to ship to backers in February, but now, Nextbit states that April is more realistic. While the company has no concrete date set, as there are a “number of factors outside our control,” Nextbit claims that they will keep all backers informed on what is taking place. (more…)