Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service: Struggling electronics maker Sony has moved further into the crowdfunding scene by starting its own platform to raise funds for internally generated business ideas, including a new universal remote control with an electronic paper interface. Launched Wednesday, First Flight is a crowdfunding and e-commerce platform designed to take product proposals from the ideas to sales. It’s only available in Japanese and is limited to Sony’s in-house projects. First Flight has three stages, a teaser stage, in which new ideas can be previewed and discussed, followed by crowdfunding and e-commerce. “One of the strengths and aims of First Flight is to facilitate ongoing dialogue with customers from initial development through to market introduction, by seamlessly connecting each phase from previewing and crowd funding to e-commerce,” a Sony spokeswoman said. Cont'd...
by Stacey Higginbotham for Fortune: Early adopters, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have bought into the idea of a smart home, but mainstream consumers haven’t. Leeo, a company that makes a connected nightlight that doubles as a smoke detector for the mobile era and has raised $37 million in funding, laid off about 30% of its staff Wednesday. Earlier this month, we reported that product manufacturing shop Quirky was unwilling to support its home hub software company Wink and it has put it up for sale, according to sources. Meanwhile, a home automation management device built by startup Ninja Blocks failed to raise funding and shut down. Smart home startups like Goji and Plum are so late to market with their products that supporters who gave them money through their crowd-funding campaigns have given up on them. Goji’s smart lock was supposed to ship 18 months ago. Now the company is only shipping a small number of locks and plans to fulfill all other orders by August. Plum, a connected Wi-Fi light switch maker founded by the former head of CEDIA, the trade association for professional home automation installers, announced its product in early 2013 and plans to ship later this year. They were supposed to be ready in August 2013. With $454 million invested in connected home companies last year, there is plenty of money riding on the smart home. According to CB Insights data, smart home startups took in a little over $1 billion in funding between 2012 and 2014. Cont'd...
Here are some crowd funding projects of interest.
Oomi and its innovative approach to the smart home continues to gain traction through the current Indiegogo campaign, adding two new accessories along the way.
Indiegogo - Remocam Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign offering the better security camera with better home automation
Remocam, the first IoT IP security camera, seeks $50K or more to Launch its first IoT IP security camera through its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign
Shellfire launches a crowdfunding campaign to build the Shellfire Box - A tiny router that securely connects any device to the world wide Shellfire VPN network to effectively protect online privacy.
Indiegogo - Friday, the World's Smallest, Most Advanced Smart Lock, is Poised to Go Big Following Indiegogo Success
Friday is the latest smart lock to enter the market, priced from $109. Designed in collaboration with world famous architects, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Friday is beautifully put together, claiming to be the smallest and most advanced smart lock yet.
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