The Kickstarter copycat from Amazon, “Build It”, wants to make concept gadgets real


Image: Amazon

for PCMag 2021-02-17 22:59:04 UTC

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Do you want a smart cuckoo clock? Or how about a machine that can print out custom sticky notes?

Amazon is working on some wild ideas for the smart home market. Before the concept devices become real, however, the company wants to first make sure customers are buying them.

The result is Amazon’s Build It program, where the company showcases the concept gadgets it has come up with. Interested customers can pre-order them. If enough orders are received within 30 days, the company will manufacture the products and dispatch the batch.

“If you pre-order, you will receive a special price that will only be charged when the product is shipped,” the company said in an announcement on Wednesday. “If the pre-order target is not met, the product will not be built and you will not be charged. It’s low risk, high reward, and loads of fun. “

The program sounds a lot like Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for a lot of wild prototype ideas. Amazon took this approach after working on the “Day 1 Edition” of the Echo Frames, the company’s smart glasses, which were originally available as beta to invited customers. (Amazon did not run another Day 1 edition, the Echo Loop Smart Ring.)

“Your feedback was so valuable that we had to ask ourselves: How can we get customers involved earlier in the process?” Said Amazon. At the same time, the Build It program prevents Amazon from wasting time on concept gadgets that don’t resonate with consumers.

On Wednesday, the company unveiled three ideas for the Build It program: a $ 80 smart cuckoo clock, a $ 90 smart sticky note printer, and a $ 35 smart food ingredient nutrition scale. All devices work with the Alexa voice assistant technology from Amazon for hands-free control.

Amazon's Kickstarter copycat,

If enough pre-orders are placed, the company plans to ship products to buyers between July and September. “After the 30-day campaign, there may be options to purchase select devices at full price, but the supply is limited,” added Amazon.

Presumably the company will then decide on the basis of the pre-orders and the subsequent customer feedback whether the concept idea is a one-off or a permanent product. “If your favorite concept doesn’t come up this time, don’t worry – there will be more fun ideas,” added the company.

This article was originally published here by PCMag

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