Contrary to our established notions, one doesn't need to design an Apple accessory to make a million dollars on Kickstarter — it turns out that a gadget for the Android works just as well. Tech-savvy industrial designer Yves Béhar (the one behind the One Laptop per Child computer and this line of ultra-sophisticated sex toys) demonstrated that yesterday by crushing online crowdsourcing records; he raised $1 million dollars for Ouya, an Android-based gaming system, in only eight hours.
Three months ago tech company Boxer8 approached Béhar and his San Francisco-based firm, Fuseproject, to develop a sleek, cube-like console that connects a mobile app to the television, steered by a wireless controller of buttons and two analog sticks for downloadable, free-to-play games. As of today, more than 25,000 people have donated $3.2 million and counting in exchange for investor perks like early access, an engraved console, and a day-long meet and greet with the designers.
Despite competition from industry behemoths Sony and Microsoft, Béhar is confident in Ouya's appeal. "The gaming community [...] wants to be engaged, wants something new, wants it to be open," he said yesterday at the Mobile Beat Conference, according to TheVerge.com. "There's lots of programmers, hackers, [and] game developers that don’t want to pay the huge fees that it takes to get a developer kit [for a major console]."
Ouya provides yet another Kickstarter success story as the website continues to turn the science of start-up investment on its head. Not only does it cull precious funding, it serves as a Geiger counter for market interest, according to Cooper-Hewitt Product Designer of the Year Scott Wilson, whose TikTok+LunaTik — a wrist device that allows you to wear an iPod Nano as a watch — held the Kickstarter title of highest-funded for more than a year at $942,578. "If we don't reach a goal that's a sign we shouldn’t be wasting our time," he told ARTINFO. His third Kickstarter campaign has raised three times its goal, and still has nine days of fundraising left.
Soon, the site won't be limited to American start-ups. According to the Telegraph, the crowdsourcing site is planning to expand to the U.K. this fall.