Sunday, 19 January 2014

Skulpt and Atlas demonstrate the continued power of crowdfunding

There's been plenty of debate about the importance of crowdfunding sources such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo in certain sectors of the tech world.

As with many new opportunities, the first 12 months sees a free-for-all which eventually - after some crashes and burning - settles down to a sustainable business model for a small subset of the original potential audience.

Certainly that seems to be what's happened in late 2013 into 2014, where crowdfunding for games is now pretty much dead, while crowdfunding for wearable technology is still going strong. Maybe that's because wearable tech is the hot topic, but I also think that there's a better fit as with games all you really get/are offered is a virtual experience. With wearables, on the other hand, you can something to wear (maybe even on your other hand).

Long introduction, but it does lead me to point out that the Skulpt Aim device, which measures your muscle quality using an IQ-type system (average = 100) has completed its Indiegogo, raising $384,509 from a $150,000 original goal.

Skulpt took advantage of a lot of press following its CES 2014 appearance. It even made it to Newsnight on the BBC.

Another company looking to make a similar splash, also on Indiegogo is Atlas. Here the sell is harder as it's yet another bracelet sports tracker, albeit one with the marketing tag that it's the "first fitness tracker that actually tracks your workout".

Priced at $159, apparently it can even identify the exercises you're doing, counting reps, and evaluating your form - all thanks to its inertial sensors, which can track in the x, y and z-axis. I don't see why it's such an odd shape though, and I'll also be interested to see how accurate the heart rate monitor is compared to a proper chest strap.

Still, the company has already reached its $125,000 goal; with 18 days to go, it's currently over $162,000.

You can find out more from the Atlas website.

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