For many reasons crowdfunding smartwatches has been a hot crowdfunding category for 2012 – 2013. Wearable technology is going to be huge and everyone knows it. While Samsung has released their Galaxy Watch to much fanfare, the Samsung smartwatch was widely panned by the technorati. It is widely accepted that Apple has been beavering away on the next incredible device rumored to be a visual work of art that you wrap on your wrist that delivers tech nirvana short of levitation. While the elves in Cupertino put their final polish on whatever device they will release in 2014, there has been a bevy of companies that have released their vision on what form a smartwatch should take and they are leading the way in wearable tech.
Pebble, “E-paper Watch for iPhone and Android” caught the imagination of almost 70,000 backers crowdfunding an unfathomable $10.2 Million on Kickstarter becoming the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever on the platform (successful by amount raised that is). There have been a flurry of competitors ever since. Below are the Top Six Smartwatch crowdfunding campaigns from both Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
In first place is obviously the Pebble Smartwatch, crowdfunding $10,266,845, which pre-ordered more than a quarter million watches and now graces the shelves of Best Buy and other retailers. The phenomenal tech home-run went on to raise additional capital of $15 million from VC group Charles River Ventures and others. Since their campaign the team at Pebble has not kicked back and enjoyed the perks of success. Pebble is prepping to launch their very own App Store in early 2o14 as they continue to update the OS and improve the user experience. And when will V2 be forthcoming? Certainly soon..
Kreyos positioned their watch as the “Only Smartwatch with Voice and Gesture Control”. And why should you have to tap on a tiny screen when you can simply tell it what to do. Kreyos raised $1,502,689 from an amazing 11,722 funders on Indiegogo. While the Kreyos team missed their November 2013 ship date (as most campaigns do) they must be close as they are prepping to let the smartwatch do the CES catwalk in January.
Omate TrueSmart positioned itself as the tough smartwatch on the block. Water resistant and great endurance the Kickstarter campaign raised $1,032,352 from 4,378 backers. While not quite the $10 million like Pebble, a million dollars is pretty impressive. The device was scheduled to ship to early backers this past November but like many successful campaigns it is running a few days late. Organizers are on top of things and communication is solid.
Agent “the Worlds Smartest Watch” raised $1,012,742 from 5,685 backers on Kickstarter. The organizers claimed they had created a watch that does not compromise after spending the last year in development. Recognizing that connecting any device to a cord to charge was a bit of a pain, the guys at Secret Labs + House of Horology have included wireless charging with this cool looking watch.
The Neptune Pine packs just about everything you could ever want on your wrist. Make calls, take calls and text away with a qwerty touch keyboard. $801,224 CAD from 2,839 backers supported this project. While some critics have complained the 2.4″ screen is too big for your wrist there are thousands who have funded this campaign that would disagree.
The Hot Curve is a good looking watch. A sleek, minimal design combined with Dick Tracy like call technology generated a tech media love fest. The $150,000 goal was hit in under 2 days on Kickstarter and closed having crowdfunded $616,231 from 4,141 backers. While delivery has been pushed back beyond the December 2o13 ship date for those expecting a watch from as part of their reward The Hot Smartwatch team has been keeping the crowd abreast of where things stand.
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