Which I find interesting for all sorts of different reasons… eg:
1) It’s telepresence… which as a platform has possibilities going off in a million different directions… eg, spider safaris. Or remote tourism. Or weird proxy wars. Whatever. Probably has some sort of porn-application as well… eg: a Gopro mounted on a miner’s hat. God, that would be weird. I bet some people would like it though. Perverts etc. Gopros are already wifi-capable.
2) It’s a Segway. No, actually, it IS a segway… which is one of those inventions that was ever a solution looking for a problem.
3) It’s running the Kickstarter Model (ie: pre-sales) without going via Kickstarter (which is the Facebook-of-crowdfunding) (and for this reason, I’m fairly suspicious of it)(and they still don’t have an RSS feed coming out of it, so I’m going to hack one together myself)(There’s a love/hate relationship for you)
I think running the Kickstarter model outside Kickstarter is a very good thing. The blogosphere kindof has this reputational-system (like ebay) built in… the quick-silver speed and efficacy of crowd-sourced sleuthing. This was what shot the Kickstarter DIY drone project down in a matter of days. Sure people will get ripped off, but they’re getting ripped off by various projects on Kickstarter anyway. Delivery is not guaranteed… but crowd-funding is where all the energy is. The (entirely feudal) VC model sucks. Distributed crowd-funding has a special sort of in-built intelligence that top-down-control simply cannot do.
Combine distributed crowd-funding with the abolition of (or at least total contempt for) copy-monopolies, then you’ve got a system with a really dynamic set of biases. Really dynamic innovation-drivers… not just of products, but of building blocks.
A good (early) example of this is the the Digispark thing
which has absolutely aced their target (~$90k from a target of $5k… with 20 days to go), and introduced (an emergent phenomena) Stretch-Goals, in which they’re offering a whole mass of additional PCB shields. Calling it a “deft bit of upselling’ doesn’t do it justice. It’s cross-pollination and community waiting-to-happen. I don’t know how pre-planned this technique was for them, but for a lot of projects going forward, it will be.
Speaking of going forward (or not)… I’ve now received the 2nd board from my first Kickstarter sponsorship… Romotive… and it doesn’t fecking work, and their support forums don’t offer any actual support… what is the opposite of telepresence?