Crowdfunding is one of the biggest new things to come out of the tech age in the past couple of years, and for good reason. First of all the concept is normally very sound, and when potential buyers go on a website like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter they have a certain level of trust that products they fund will eventually make it to their hands and eventually the rest of the market. Afterall plenty of popular products came from such humble roots, like the Pebble smartwatch, and because of this buyers have come to expect a certain level of quality from their promises. But what if the product you’ve backed doesn’t turn out so well, or even turn up at all?
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This seems to be the case in the higher profile product called the Kreyos Meteor smartwatch, a project that started in July of 2013 and have only recently begun to ship to its backers, a 9 month delay from the initial 3 month window that was given to backers to receive the final product. What’s worse is that what was promised in the product isn’t what backers are getting. Kreyos and its founder, Steve Tan, promised the Meteor would do all sorts of futuristic things, from being able to go underwater up to 5 meters, to using gestures and voice commands to more or less remove the need to ever take your phone out of your pocket. All this was done before the original Galaxy Gear launched, much less Android Wear, and as such backers were eager to get their hands on something they hadn’t really seem before.
Now that backers are finally receiving their watches, they’ve been complaining about all sorts of things such as terrible feedback from the speaker to the microphone, the speaker quality sounding like one off of a small child’s toy, and even complete lack of waterproofing. There’s also complaints about aesthetics such as the buttons being difficult to press and the interface being a mess. All this while the company has been deleting negative comments off its Facebook page and posting pictures of the founder with expensive new toys like a Ferrari and a bunch of fancy designer clothes. Denials of refunds from either IndieGoGo or Kreyos have downright burned many, no doubt, and have likely made plenty aware of the perils that crowdfunding can have.
While there are plenty of Pebbles or Omates and other successful projects in the world of crowdfunding, sometimes you end up with a product that’s not what you thought, and that’s the gamble you’ll unfortunately have to face when jumping on board one of these projects. No telling if the tides will turn for Meteor owners, but here’s hoping all the media attention puts pressure on someone to get the ball rolling.