Bonjour, a Kickstarter, announced today it was shuttering its doors. The clock was a voice-based Echo Spot alternative. It was launched in 2016 and closed over $700,000 in crowdfunding.
Hardware is hard, I was told. What you learn running a hardware startup is that what you raise through crowdfunding is a small fraction of what you need to actually deliver a product or make a viable business. Coolest Cooler? Pebble Watch? Zano? Lily Drone? It’s not easy.
Kickstarter backers will also turn from fans to vampires very quickly, especially in more recent years. Kickstarter has become a place for more established companies to launch their products and it’s more of a consumer pre-sale than a maker community these days.
So why the thanks to Bonjour? The team put an effort into advancing ambient voice interaction. It tried to bring a sophisticated design to market and an independent AI assistant. It showed that people do want more than Alexa and Google Assistant.