If you've ever laid hands on a smartphone, tablet or other computing device, chances are you've thought up ways to make it better. Perhaps you have even, at one point, dreamed up a concept smartphone. From a crazy-simple, well-designed joint that a mass audience could appreciate to a control-laden beast with innards to rival a gaming PC and a monolithic battery, everybody has a dream smartphone that appeals to them more than anything that may exist. Some people have even made concepts of those dream phones and put them online. Most of those dream devices, however, never come to be. Likewise, many innovative new ideas go completely unfostered and undeveloped because the would-be creator doesn't have the resources or the expertise to make their dream a reality. IndieGoGo is partnering up with device creation aid company Arrow Electronics to change all of that, for those whose dream devices are considered worthy.
The way the arrangement is set to work is deceptively simple. Arrow's people will be scanning IndieGoGo campaigns and issuing badges to any they find particularly interesting. From there, projects will be judged, talked about with the project owner and eventually either dropped or funded and put through Arrow's advocacy system. Arrow offers packages worth anywhere from $20,000 to $500,000, which include manufacturing support, supplies, facilities and access to Arrow Electronics' team of engineers. Essentially, if somebody has a really great idea and barely any idea how to make it a reality or lacks the resources to do so and the campaign may not catch fire on its own, Arrow will step in.
Arrow says they will be targeting projects on IndieGoGo based on their "technical feasibility, manufacturability, and overall impact". In essence, they want projects to be realistic, somewhat easy to make, and relatively impactful or disruptive. While a slick, refined smartphone that's otherwise like any other may not qualify, something like a pocket-sized professional-quality camera that would cost consumers less than $500 may make the cut, if such a thing is realistically imagined. Fleshing out any project takes research, know-how and ambition, but those who show it in spades on IndieGoGo may find themselves with a new backer willing to bring their dream device from concept to retail for them.