Indienogo – This Week’s Questionable Campaigns
Ask, But You May Not Receive
Some of the most innovative, useful, and interesting products in the past few years have been products of successful crowd funding campaigns. Of course, you don’t always hear about the unsuccessful gadgets — the ones that don’t get funded because they’re redundant, narrowly focused, or just too expensive. And you also don’t always hear about the campaigns for devices and apps that border on the ridiculous.
Here are four of the oddest, most redundant, and, frankly, least likely to get funded campaigns we’ve found this week.
The goal of preventing texting while driving is a good one, and I applaud the motivation behind this app. However, I’m not sure that an app is really necessary to solve this problem, especially when the developers are asking for $17,500 USD to create it. Why not turn the phone off, stash it in the glove box, or even better, stick it in the boot? And, why not teach teenagers (who may be more likely to text while driving than adults) to do the same?
Again, this is a valiant mission, but a costly app may not be needed when a solution is essentially free. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/safedrive)
Another device that proposes an expensive solution to a minor problem, TeethTIMEY’s raison d’être is to promote good dental hygiene. It’s a two-minute timer so you can brush your teeth for the full time recommended by dentists, keeping your mouth healthy and lowering your risk of cavities.
Again, it’s a noble goal: we all probably need to take better care of our teeth. But this is a stand-alone device — why not just use the timer on your smart phone, or even a stop watch or egg timer? Or easier still, why not just look at the clock? The TeethTIMEY itself looks like an NES controller, which may or may not be an ironic nod to the old school gaming system. I want you to brush your teeth properly, but I’m not sure a campaign to raise $2,500 USD is necessary to do it.
This is a downloadable program that bills itself as free presentation software for academic purposes. It’s vector-based, and works like a combination of PowerPoint and Prezi. The first version of it has been available for a few months now, and early reviews have been positive. The company’s Indiegogo campaign is to retool and improve what they’ve got and release an updated version.
All of this sounds OK until you look at the campaign’s goal: a whopping $100,000 USD! That’s an incredible amount of money to upgrade an existing product, especially one that has features similar to other, more popular options. Figure in the fact that those in academia don’t always have a lot of extra money to throw around to support campaigns like this or a lot of extra time to learn new software, and you’ll understand why we have our doubts about the success of this campaign. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-free-presentation-software-for-academic-purposes)
This is a line of products that improves on already existing signs by making them flashy, loud, and hard to ignore. Warnings like wet paint and wet floors are easy to miss, but what Auto-Sign does is put motion-activated flashing lights and audio reminders on them to help people see them and heed their messages.
Like the other campaigns highlighted here, it’s a good goal; we’re certainly in favour of accident prevention. However, a goal of $50,000 USD seems lofty, especially considering the quiet response so far. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/auto-sign-accident-prevention-products).
In addition the perks are clearly the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. For $100 you can get…………….a T-shirt, yes you’re very own $10 T-shirt. For $1000 you receive a wonderful gift-card for your favourite eatery (up to the value of $75). Part of me thinks this is a wind-up, but time will tell.
Keep an eye out next week for more Indienogo ideas.