It can sometimes seem that smart technology is taking over the world – and crowdfunding in particular. Everyday items, such as mattresses, jewellery, deodorant, nappies, belts, and bags, are being smartened up – often unnecessarily.
The psychology of this is interesting. People associate a “smart” component with a more sophisticated and intelligent product – but really the smartphone does all the work. Despite this, a significant amount of smart products have been successfully crowdfunded. It seems that more intelligence is being placed into products that may not necessarily need it. This poses the obvious question: are smart products inventive or overrated?
Whatever the answer, the public love smart technology. A quick look on Indiegogo and Kickstarter brings up 10 smart water bottles, over 10 smart earphones, more than 15 smart locking products and over five smart wallets. One can only imagine how many more smart products can be found on other crowdfunding sites – not to mention how many did not make the grade to get onto these sites.
On the whole, most of these projects were successfully funded, despite being variations of each other. Why are we so fascinated with smart products? We have come up with a list of the good, the bad and the unnecessary smart projects on crowdfunding sites.
Seed contains a number of features to help you keep track of your water consumption and maintain a healthy lifestyle. With a sleek and interactive design we love smart products like these and it is no surprise that over $500,000 more was pledged towards their goal.
You can read more about their campaign here.
Launching over a year ago, this campaign was originally set up to help Americans, who use more than 1.2 trillion gallons of water every year showering. The Eva Drop Smart Shower conserves water consumption without compromising the shower experience. Even though Americans were the main focus of this product, it would definitely be useful around the world.
View their campaign here.
Tangled headphones can be a really big pain, so aren’t we glad that Bragi LLC launched Dash two years ago. The headphones are light and can simply be placed inside your ears…meaning no wires or hindrances to your listening experience. Almost 16,000 people pledged over $3 million to help this product come to fruition.
Read more about their campaign here.
Ensuring that your meat is correctly cooked can often be a difficult task. Meater is connected to your phone, and alerts you when it has reached the correct temperature - so your chicken is sure to be succulent and steak to be tender. Clearly individuals loved this product as over $1.9 million was raised to help this product come to life.
See the campaign here.
The Camemory Smart Glasses enable you to record videos, take pictures, answer phone calls and listen to music. But why would you buy this product if your phone can do all of the above? With a month of the campaign still left, they have not even managed to reach 1% of their campaign goal. And as a flexible funding goal was selected, we doubt $194 will offer much towards their campaign.
Read more about the campaign here.
Smart Cubo is a clear example of an over-complicated smart product. The device could do practically everything a smartphone can do, such as media playing and Internet browsing (but not phone calls). The campaign is still ongoing (with a month left), but it's hard to see what need this product will satisfy.
Click here for their campaign.
It is confusing as to what exactly Esmar Smart Shoes have to offer, as we somehow got lost in their explanation of the product. The shoes can increase the speed at which you walk – a more advanced form of Sketchers? There are only 21 days left of their campaign and they have only raised a measly $12 (of their $1,000 flexible funding goal).
Check out their campaign here.
Spread IT is a smart heated butter knife which contains a heater which is capable of providing the necessary heat throughout the blade. The campaign has only raised $63 from one backer and we cannot say that we are surprised. Clearly it was not an error putting this campaign in this category. Although, the campaign still has 21 days to reach its goal of $40,000.
Read about the campaign here.
Clickstick aims to prevent deodorant plastic wastage, by dispensing the perfect amount. The product can be used in conjunction with your smartphone to track your daily deodorant usage and remind you to use your deodorant, amongst other things. People clearly loved the idea as the campaign exceeded its funding goal...but a little excessive we think!
You can read more about their campaign here.
Flosstime appears to be just like the Clickstick - another case of over complicating simple products. The smart floss dispenser is designed to help us build daily flossing habits but can a machine really do this? We will have to wait and see what the 1,000 people that brought this product to life think of it.
View the campaign here.
You would wonder who would want to walk around with a belt charging their phone in their pocket. The answer: 644 people, who raised over $80,000 just for the XOO Belt. We guess it may be handy if you have a low battery on the go, but somehow we're not convinced.
Check out the campaign here.
Meet HAZ: the world’s first motorised smart umbrella! What makes it smart? The umbrella has a weather forecast reminder and incorporates location tracking and loss prevention features. Of course, all of these can only be utilised when connected to your smartphone - and your phone does everything anyway.
See their campaign here.