I think we’re going to have to start a new category of posts called Crowdfunded Follies, which feature products which seem so amazing and yet have significant flaws which will render them much less valuable than the slick marketing videos suggest. It’s getting to become something of a thing we believe.
Our first nomination (and we have several others lying in wait in the wings) would be this Pressy device, which has garnered four times the goal in just 48 hours. The product is basically a small push button which is shaped to fit into an Android phone headphone socket. Once inserted, you can use the product’s app to assign various functions to the button, like camera shutter, or even a series of actions such as open email program and send email to mom.
These simple, single use, elegantly designed products are typical of the uber successful projects on crowdfunded sites, and at first glance they seem amazing. It’s only when you take a closer look that it starts to go a little awry. For instance, the HUGE problem with this kind of product, which everyone seems to overlook, is the fact that the app needs to be a) constantly running and b) if it’s constantly running it’s constantly polling the headphone port.
What this means is you will see a *significant* hit on the battery life of your phone. There’s any number of awesome automation apps out there (my favorite is Atooma) but the battery drain is horrendous in real life. I quickly uninstalled Atooma when I found out that my phone was going to run out of juice so quickly, just because I had a location based task set up.
And once again, my pet peeve with these projects is the incredibly long lead times. This one is due to arrive next March, which is a solid seven months away, which is a veritable lifetime in tech. Especially when you consider that most crowdfunded projects slip on their delivery date significantly for one reason or another. But hey, the video is cool, right?