Kickstoppers: 5 Tech Flops on Kickstarter
Kickstarter allows everyone to be an investor or benefactor, putting a little money in to help get a new product manufactured or an art concept made. Backers of products get either one for themselves or, for smaller amounts, a thank-you and usually some perk like a T-shirt.
Thousands of projects have been posted to Kickstarter, but not every idea is a great one. (A study by blogger Jeanne Pi found that only 39 percent of tech ideas succeed.) Kickstarter recently started posting success and failure data on its projects. We dug through and compiled this list of five technology ideas that simply didn’t make it.
Raised: $50 of $40,000
This is one of those ideas that makes you say either "coolest thing ever" or "This man is crazy." Or both. The plan was for a motorcycle, controlled from the chariot (yes, chariot) it would draw. Sam Hicks doesn’t say how the controls would be constructed, or whether the whole idea could ever be legal. And he seemed to imply that he was making only one, for himself.
[SEE ALSO: "10 Tech Blunders That Could Be April Fools' Day Jokes"]
The SOS Watch Life Preserver
Raised: $362 out of $90,000
It's straight out of James Bond — a watch that inflates into a wrist-mounted life preserver. Creator John Dishman tells a compelling story in his pitch, including the tale of his best friend drowning. But he leaves many things unsaid — like how you could swim with a life preserver on your wrist.
Beta 1 Personal Lighting Rig
Raised: $27 of $600
The idea of a cool, affordable light system for DJs starting out is a good one. But the $600 Micket Woodle sought would have built only a second prototype. Besides that, small, lightweight and relatively affordable lighting rigs are already available, using LED technology that's more sophisticated than Woodle's homebrew lighting.
17-inch Windows Tablet
Raised: $6,719 of $50,000
One has to give this kid credit for audacity and technical skill in building a prototype tablet computer. And this would be the first model that could be upgraded. But how many backers would want to hand money to a teenager — even a really smart one? More to the point, tablets are popular in part because they are smaller than conventional laptops, but this one is a biggie.
[SEE ALSO: "Best Small Tablet: Google Nexus 7"]
I-Ball Cubicle Stop Light
Raised: $316 of $10,000
Affixed to a cubicle or desk, the I-Ball could be set to light up red, yellow or green to signify "do not disturb," "available if it's something quick" or "come on in." But most of us know that if someone is, say, on the phone, you should not bug them. The device basically assumes that everyone in your workplace is clueless. I-ball raised only $316 of its $10,000 goal, with most people deciding to not disturb.