The company behind the crowd-funded Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch for iOS and Android, is seemingly having to field a ton of questions from frustrated backers of the project, after the firm reportedly continues to miss deadlines, and publish updates which are considered ‘too vague’ by some, according to comments left on its official Facebook page.
The project, which successfully reached its required funding goal of $100,000 on Indiegogo just a few days after its initial funding drive began, last year closed with a total of $1,503,849 USD in pledges from on-board backers looking to get a slice of the cutting-edge, gesture-based wrist technology of which the Kreyos claimed it was capable.
Since then, the company has updated its backers throughout the process as to the product’s design, manufacture and shipment. Yet, not everyone who backed the project is happy with the way the project is currently being handled.
While the first units of the smartwatch have begun arriving on backer doorsteps, many issues – including reports that a supposedly ‘faulty batch’ has seen several units not able to meet the company’s claim of the device being waterproof to a depth of 5-meters, the watch’s official app sporadically crashing for many on iOS, (Kreyos says an update is already in approval with Apple), and the device’s speaker appearing to be overly ‘muffled’ when used with Apple’s intelligent assistant, Siri, have all seemingly now caused many to take to the company’s social channels to voice their opinions of the newly-shipping product, with some even going as far to request a refund of their original pledge(s).
Meanwhile, others who backed the project – including myself – are still waiting for tracking numbers.
According to a response that the company appeared to copy-and-paste to a number of the project’s backers, a few weeks ago, all Indiegogo orders were shipped out “at the same time.” The firm noted that it originally created a public list of 5,000 of these backers – that it was going to use in order to ship the first batch to, because it (admittedly) “didn’t have enough inventory to dispense.”
“Our shipment to our US warehouses encountered a lot of problems, though ultimately, we were able to stock up enough inventory in our Singapore/Hong Kong warehouses to fulfill all orders and thus we decided to just ship the entire batch from there,” the note read. The company added that it “apologized for the confusion and not keeping [backers] apprised.”
The note, posted to the comments section of the company’s Facebook page by one of the firm’s representatives, on August 7, said that its chosen shipping partner – Quantium Solutions – “commits to completing all shipments within the next couple of days,” with the firm indicating that backers should receive their shipping notification emails “in the next couple of days.”
Despite the notice, however, it appears many have been left without tracking numbers, or any idea of when they might expect their perk to ship. Specifically those in the UK and Australia. It would be wrong of us to speculate what may be affecting these backers from receiving their perks, and this could just be due to a few initial setbacks – such as CE certification, which is required for products shipping to Europe.
On the plus side, Kreyos says that it will issue a “free replacement” to customers who encounter defects related to the device’s waterproofing. Requests should be sent by email to email@example.com with the words “WATERPROOFING ISSUE” somewhere on the subject line, and the company says that it will then make sure to get back to you on “how to kick the return and replacement process off.”
In addition, some backers who have been luckily enough to receive their Meteor smartwatch have noticed that they appear to have received the wrong type of watchband, than the one they previously pledged for. In these instances, Kreyos notes that sending an email with the subject line “WRONG WATCHBAND,” to the same firstname.lastname@example.org address, will result in the correct version of the watchband being eventually sent out to you – for FREE.
Perhaps most strangely, though, are the company’s claims that the reported issues with the device’s speaker module may be able to be fixed with its next planned firmware update. “The team is currently working on this issue. We will push a firmware update live and will let everyone know when it’s ready,” the firm’s latest update on its Facebook page reads.
Hardware being fixed with software? – Seems a bit weird to us, but still we’re prepared to wait for the company to release the said firmware patch, before speculating about what the outcome of it might be.
The last correspondence I received from the company, personally, said that they would get back to me “shortly.” I am confident I’ll hear back from Kreyos in the next several weeks, and – for what it’s worth – the firm has admitted that it has been “slow getting back to everyone” in its most-recent update.
I’m just hoping that once the product does arrive, it doesn’t show signs of the above mentioned issues. I use the word “issues,” loosely, as we are talking about a “crowd-funded” product from a company who doesn’t (initially) appear to have manufactured products for mass-market, before.
Whether the factory – which Kreyos says on its campaign page is “one of the world’s most respected factories in China,” will be up to delivering on the product that 11,722 other backers originally pledged towards – before the year is out – is unclear at this time.
With so much potential, I for one hope they can.
Apple is currently also said to be working on its own take of the “smart”-watch. Tentatively dubbed by many as the “iWatch,” according to respected journalist – John Paczkowski – the device could even see its public debut, as early as this October.
Kreyos got back in touch with me, on Friday (August 15), to note that they had confirmed that I will be receiving my tracking number “within a couple of days.”
Looks like they’re gradually working through the backlog of shipments.
We’ll see how this goes.