With only a few days left to go in this crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, LUCI, Advanced Lucid Dream Inducer was cancelled after having raised $363,302 on a goal of just $40,000. Funds raised had reportedly broken the $400,000 mark but as allegations of fraud started to impact the crowdfunding effort backers began to cancel their contributions. The money contributed will be returned to the over 2500 backers.
Backer comments expressed their displeasure with the company, Montreal based GXP Technologies (posted as a subsidiary of the Caluka Group), with multiple accusations about the validity of the product and as to whether or not the company truly existed.
One supporter “Terrence” summed up the allegations:
1. GPX doesn’t exist
2. The picture of the prototype turns out to be a photoshop fake
3. GPX claims the pic is real and tries to be sneaky replacing it with an even worse photoshop fake
4. Forum asks GPX to settle the matter by simply taking a pic or vid of the prototype to prove it
5. GPX refuses claiming they don’t have access to the prototype or to a pic of it
6. GPX suddenly skips town claiming they need vacation as an excuse to why they can’t provide proof of LUCI (only returning after the deadline thus securing the cash)
7. Forum becomes aware of foul play and have filed complaints
8. GPX scraps 400,000 dollars and its reputation for securing a contract with one of the kickstarter backers due to the forum being a circus (circus being, asking for a pic as proof prior to deadline).
Soooo people can basically scam half a million dollars on kickstarter with a photoshop pic?!
I hope KS learns from this, especially since it was advertised this in the most popular section luring me into this scam. BTW congrats on GPX’s outstanding damage control by re-photoshopping their prototype pic last minute, you really had us all fooled! LMAOF
The Lucid Dreaming project was supposed to be creating a device to consciously control your dreams without waking up. An attempt at creating a virtual reality type experience while sleeping. The concept was compelling enough to significantly beat the fundraising goal. Kickstarter may have banned the campaign as issues with the campaign became apparent.
Campaign organizers shared a different perspective though and posted a backer update with the date of November 12th stating they had found alternative funding:
Dear LUCI backers,
We would like to inform you that we have signed a funding agreement with another private lender. The offer came to us this week from a generous Kickstarter user who is extremely passionate about our project. After a face to face meeting earlier this evening with our prototype in hand, he offered to back the totality of our project with terms that we could simply not refuse.
And with the direction that this campaign is going, dealing with a single person instead of 2500 doubtfuls made our choice very easy.
We still think Kickstarter is a great medium, but it clearly has some serious moderation issues. Giving them $20,000 in commissions for allowing such a circus on their website does not seem appropriate. We will be sticking with more conventional funding sources like we have in the past.
You should expect to see LUCI for sale early spring for the suggested retail price of $299.
The LUCI team
Only the day prior campaign organizers were thanking backers for their support.
There are always inherent risks involved with any type of crowdfunding but it appears the crowd came to believe in possible inaccuracies which may have ultimately led to the downfall of this Kickstarter campaign.
In a comment posted by GPX the campaign creator, they expressed their frustration with the questioning of their business and apologized for the canceling of their crowdfunding campaign:
Our decision to go with another lender started last week when realized that Michael Paul Coder, who is developing his own lucid dreaming headband with audio alerts, was capable of convincing our backers that our project was a scam or fake.
In short, he did this by making a few susceptible people believe that our use of Photoshop to add clarity to our photos meant that the entire project was fake. We confirmed several times that, indeed, we did superimpose our logo and pcb to add clarity to the original washed-out image.
Even after trying to clear the air by posting the original photograph along with a side-by-side comparison, Michael Paul Coder had already convinced these gullible backers that it was a scam. By this time, there was nothing we could do or say that could change the minds of these vulnerable people.
We were even being discredited for not having a website for the product yet! Some were discrediting us on the fact that we didn’t link a Facebook account. If we were to link a Facebook account, it would have been to a LUCI group, not to a personal page.
Then, some people started questioning our business. So we shared the link to our business registration on the Quebec government website. This apparently didn’t change a thing. These few users were so heavily brainwashed by Michael Paul Coder that nothing could convince them otherwise. Some were even suggesting that the Quebec government website was fake! We won’t even comment on that one. The Quebec business registry website was down for maintenance this weekend, and we even saw comments saying “that’s convenient”, like we had something to do with the Quebec government’s website being down for maintenance!
By this time, these few people were dissecting every little part of our project and imagining things that we’re there. Some people started seeing things like the angle at the logo on the headband, etc. Some people were even wondering if we pasted an image of a headband on my wife! We had bought a stock photo (the sleeping woman) from iStock and created a visual representation from it. Some people didn’t even realize that we intentionally created that image as a visual and believed that it was just another tactic to fool them. Some people even began saying that we stole the image of the sleeping woman on the net.
One person even said he contacted our domain registrar, GoDaddy, to have them cancel our account. Like as if the domain names we own have ANYTHING to do with ANTHING! You can see how off course this whole thing was getting.
Even though the ridiculousness had already gotten out of control by this time, we would still have continued using Kickstarter. However, on Monday morning, my wife logged in to her Facebook account to find harassing private messages. One of them saying “We know who you are and where you live”.
But it doesn’t stop there. Some of you pretending to be from news agencies like CNN, etc, started calling my father who happens to have the same name as me.
When we understood that ONE PERSON (a competitor) was capable of all this; taking this fun little project and brainwashing people to believe it’s fake, to the point of making these people harass my family, we decided that the unstable nature of crowdfunding and the type people it comprises was definitely not for us. Plus, all of these troublemakers kept a $1 contribution, which would have permitted them to harass us during the entire development & manufacturing process.
We greatly apologize to the 2500+ backers who DID believe in our project. Rest assured that you will be receiving a $150 rebate from the $299 retail price when LUCI comes out in the spring. We are sorry that a handful of troublemakers ruined it for all of you, but we had no choice as they started harassing my family.
So, we secured a loan equivalent to the projected amount of our campaign, and this from a SINGLE investor. This funded amount will be ample for us to complete the development of our product (in silence) and have it for sale at online retailers in the spring.
In a following update the project creator has stated they expect the device to ship this coming February. To gage demand they are asking interested individuals to “Like” the following update. Most of the comments associated with this update remain skeptical about the product.
Please like this update to receive your LUCI for $150190 comments
Contrary as to what certain people believe, LUCI is a very real project well on its way to becoming the gold standard in lucid dream induction. The device is still scheduled for release in February.
We understand that more than 2500 of you were looking forward to receiving your LUCI and were disappointed when we announced that we found funding elsewhere. That’s why we wish to offer you the chance to receive your LUCI at the same date and for same price as we were offering on Kickstarter.
In order for us to estimate the demand, please LIKE this update if you would consider buying a LUCI for $150 when it goes for sale in February.
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