It was a crowdfunding campaign that appeared to be off to a successful start. In just two days, Montreal-based Mighty Cast raised over $10,000 on Indiegogo through pre-sales of a “modular smartband” that it calls the Nex Band.
One day later, the campaign was gone.
On the Indiegogo site, it’s been replaced by a message that the campaign is “currently being updated.” A statement from Mighty Cast was equally cryptic.
“Mighty Cast is undergoing some technical integration issues with the Indiegogo campaign,” it read.
When asked for further information, the company’s PR agency – which had been promoting the campaign to media just days before – said they wouldn’t talk unless Techvibes agreed not to publish an article.
However, they said the company will continue to pre-sell the Nex Band through its own website.
It’s unclear what may have gone wrong. Indiegogo says the campaign was taken down at the request of Mighty Cast, who wanted more time to prepare, and that a relaunch is expected later this month.
But in an interview conducted while the crowdfunding campaign was still active, Adam Adelman, Might Cast’s founder and CEO, said that the Nex Band itself was ready to go.
“We’re already done with our manufacturing, so we’re actually ready to ship,” Adelman said.
He said Might Cast decided to use crowdfunding as a way to get the device into the hands of early-adopters so that so that the company could gather feedback before launching in retail later this year.
“We really wanted to make sure we refined the experience. With hardware it’s really hard to get a second chance,” Adelman said.
He’s been working to get it right for some time; the band was first announced in late 2013. He says that’s because the company had to develop and entirely new product.
“We’re trying to create an entirely new experience with wearables,” he said.
While the device can be used as an activity tracker or for notifications, it goes a lot further than that, Adelman said.
“Where we’re different is we’re a modular smartband, we have these five different, we call them mods, that snap into place right on the smartband,” he said. “All these mods are programmable, or we say they’re ‘hackable,’ and you don’t need to be a developer to hack one of the mods, you don’t need to rely on third-part apps and it takes about five seconds to hack one of the mods.”
The mods are programmed through what Adelman calls a “when/do” platform – users tell the mods that when something specific happens, the mod does a certain action.
That could be everything from starting a smart coffee maker with a double-tap of the the mod, to controlling a character in a mobile game or sending a pre-written email.
There’s also an API for advanced users who want to take things a bit further as well as a Unity SDK for game developers.
Despite the abrupt end to the crowdfunding campaign, the company says it still plans to ship the devices to customers later this spring.