Amazon launches a Kickstarter-style program that lets customers vote on which new products it will build next, including an Alexa cuckoo clock and sticky note printer
- Amazon products have 30 days to reach preorder goals or they won’t be built
- Users are only charged if and when a product ships and can cancel preorders
- A progress meter indicates how close a project is to reaching its goal
- The first three projects are a smart scale, a sticky-note printer and an Alexa-powered cuckoo clock
Amazon has launched a new crowdfunding platform that allows users to purchase its products, but only if they reach their pre-order goal within 30 days.
Build It will only spotlight Amazon products for now — not DIY merchandise, films, music, or charitable endeavors, like Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
Members are only charged if and when the preorder threshold has been met.
The first wave of projects are all Alexa-related that include a cuckoo clock with programmable alarms, a smart scale that gives nutritional information and a printer that prints sticky notes.
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An Alexa-integrated cuckoo clock is one of the first projects being offered on Build It, Amazone’s new crowdfunding site. Only Amazon products that meet their preorder goals will be produced and customers will only be charged if and when an item ships
Build It is part of Amazon’s Day 1 Editions program, which rolls out prototype products for early adopters.
‘The idea is simple,’ the company said in a blog post. ‘We’ll periodically present you with some of our favorite concepts, and you tell us which ones you want to see built by pre-ordering them.’
If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, it’ll get produced.
Customers aren’t charged unless and until the product is made and actually ships.
The preorder campaigns last 30 days, during which time the price is locked in. If a product meets its goal and goes into production, the price will go up.
Shoppers aren’t told what a product’s preorder goal is, or many orders have been made, just what percentage of the goal has been met
The benefit, besides being the first on your block to have a cool device, is that pre-order prices are locked in—late adopters will have to pay a heftier price.
Customers can cancel preorders or return a product if it ends up being made.
‘It’s low risk, high reward and a whole lot of fun,’ the company said.
The first three projects on the Build It site all incorporate Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
A thermal mini-printer being offered on Build It prints out sticky notes that can be used for shopping lists, reminders and other notes
A $89.99 sticky-note printer about the size and shape of a Rubik’s Cube uses voice-to-print technology to let you dictate reminders, shopping lists, calendar events and more.
It uses thermal technology, so it never needs ink or toner, just paper refills.
A $34.99 smart scale provides nutritional information for ingredients based on weight or, if paired with an Echo Show, at a glance.
One of the first projects on Build It is an Alexa-powered smart scale that can provide nutritional information on hundreds of ingredients and remember frequently used food
‘Alexa remembers your frequently used foods and defaults to those items,’ the description reads. ‘Simply say, “Alexa, ask Smart Scale how much sugar is in these blueberries,” or “Alexa, ask Smart Scale to weigh 200 calories of blueberries.”
A cuckoo clock has an actual pop-out cuckoo bird, as well as 60 LED bulbs, built-in speakers for timers and alarms, and a removable pendulum so it can be mounted on a table or wall.
The clock is $79.99 for preorder—assuming it reaches its goal, the price will then go up to $99.99 for the general public.
The cuckoo clock has a removable pendulum so it can be hung on a wall or kept on a desk, and 60 LED bulbs and a built-in speaker for programmable timers and alarms
Even if none of the first wave of products make its preorder goals, Amazon promises to build at least one — presumably the one that got closest — and is targeting summer for a release date.
though Amazon won’t indicate what a product’s goal is or how many orders have been made so far, a progress bar indicates how close a Build It project is to reaching its goal.
It’s not clear if all Build It projects will involve Amazon technology or if it will add third-party creators.
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