The Bragi Dash was a huge Kickstarter crowdfunding hit. The campaign raised over $3.3 million on a goal of just $260,000. The Dash is a pair of smart bluetooth headphones that are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. The project is the 12th most funded on the Kickstarter platform to date. Almost 16,000 backers kicked in with the majority signing up to receive a pair – first round of delivery was scheduled for the coming Fall.
The design was so small and the feature set so comprehensive that some questioned the ability for this young Munich based startup to deliver on their described product. The feature set of the headphones is pretty awesome;
The Dash consists of a pair of discrete and completely wireless stereo earphones.They will playback music through a Bluetooth connection or use the embedded 4GB/1000 song music player. Everything about the design is focused on delivering freedom of movement, incredible sound and comfort. The Dash is awesome for sports and great for everything else.
The Dash works in sympathy with the wearer. Movements like pace, steps, cadence and distance are tracked. Heart rate, oxygen saturation and energy spent are measured, all the while real time acoustic feedback is provided. It even works without an attached smartphone.
Safety and the ability to communicate with others are important. In addition to being earphones, the Dash will double as a Bluetooth Headset delivering clear voice quality through the embedded ear bone microphone. The ear bone microphone is not sensitive to background noise, since it picks up mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone.
Ultimately the professional credibility of the team and presentation of the crowdfunding project won over the crowd as they ignored naysayers and hit this one out of the park. Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler is even on the list of the project backers. The CEO of Bragi, Nikolaj Hviid, previously the head of design of audio company Harman, put together a compelling narrative on product not yet finished. Early bird backers have now had their batch of Dash headphones pushed back to December of 2014.
In the recent backer update Nikolaj shared the “bad news”;
The challenge turned out to be a multi-headed monster. When we thought we had solved the space issues, electronic noise issues prevented us from finishing. The team has literally been working day and night to fix the issues. I’m happy to say that the left dash electronics has been sent to review by our suppliers this morning and that the right dash electronics will be sent next week for production.
The changes require us to adjust the mould tool for the plastic parts intended for the developer samples.
That results in a 8 week delay in delivering The Dash to our developers.
It also pushes the delivery of:
- 1000 units to early backers from October to December 2014.
- 9131 units intended for November 2014 to January 2014
- 4631 units intended for January 2015 should have no delay.
Supporters of the project have largely taken the delay in stride. The frequent communication and transparent approach is the only way a campaign can effectively manage a delayed campaign. Bragi is determined to deliver the specifications originally shared in the campaign page;
“Obviously we are not very happy about the delays, but intend to provide EVERYTHING we promised you. Degrading or removing functionality would make our job easier (and faster), but that is not what we promised.”
I am very sorry about the delay, but doing it right is more important to us than a few months earlier delivery.
One of the biggest challenges of crowdfunding campaigns are delivery delays. A complex, technical product such as Dash is at higher risk than many more basic products. Without any apparent competition in the market today- if Bragi can deliver by the end of the year – they will have an incredible product for consumers.
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