Was the Kreyos Meteor smartwatch a good idea that went terribly wrong?
Mid 2014 a small handful of backers received their long awaited for smartwatch, the Kreyos Meteor. Having contributed to a crowd funding campaign that raised USD $1.5 million, this was the disappointing reward. Kreyos shut down a short time afterwards, never fulfilling all of the orders that had been placed, nor refunding the money that had been raised through Indiegogo.
The crowdfunding campaign
In June of 2013, Indiegogo posted a new campaign for a small tech company that was making big promises for a smartwatch. The Kreyos Meteor was supposedly in the end stages of production and featured voice control, gesture control, waterproof, fitness tracking and compatibility with Android, iPhone and Windows. Not to mention a battery that lasted seven days and a $100 price tag for contributors to the fund, and $140 for everyone else.
If that sounds too good to be true, it was. At the time that the crowd funding was posted, there was not even a prototype developed yet. The goal was set at $100,000, but with all the hype it exceeded that by 1,500%.
There were also promises of the first watches being shipped out in three months, but those contributors ended up waiting close to a year to get their smartwatch, only to find it was nothing like what had been promised. To give some credit to Kreyos, they did attempt to explain the various delays, citing production problems, shipping issues and as a last resort a flood in one of their plants. Before finally shutting down altogether, founder and CEO Steve Tan tried to shed some light on the problem, stating that he and his colleagues actually had no technical knowledge. Instead he claimed, they had outsourced production to a supposedly legitimate manufacturer based in China who pocketed most of the money and profited by delivering a substandard product that did not meet the specifications they had been paid for.
The Kreyos Meteor smartwatch features
For those who did receive their smartwatch in a taped together manila envelope, they found a device that barely functioned as a watch let alone one that could qualify as wearable gear.
Since no instructions were included with the smartwatch, users had to first download the iOS app and follow the step by step guide found there. It could only connect with a smartphone using Bluetooth LE, not with the 2.0 or higher. You then needed to wait for a firmware update to upload before trying out any of the other features.
When it wasn’t stuck or crashing, the iOS app gives you some other watch faces to choose from, a stopwatch, timer, and calendar. There are also activity, sports and music settings, but the speakers don’t work well enough to make listening to music worthwhile. You also would get notifications from your phone, letting you know with a long buzzing sound instead of the soft vibration other smartwatches are equipped with.
As for the claims of being waterproof, that proved false, and many users complained that the watch dies after being exposed to water. It also stops keeping time if not connected to your smart phone, and does not respond to gestures the way they said it would.
Considering that the amount received from crowd funding was so much more than asked for, and the extra time they took, the Kreyos Meteor should have been significantly more than what was finally shipped. The company no longer is in existence, and the Kreyos smartwatch not available for sale. This proves as a prime example of why shopping around and comparing smartwatches is critical before you make a final purchase.
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