Projection Watch Ritot Raises $1.4 Million On Indiegogo

Projection Watch Ritot Raises $1.4 Million On Indiegogo

The Ritot projection watch – a new wearable device that projects the time and other data on the back of your hand using a pico ultra short throw projector has now concluded it’s Indiegogo campaign. The campaign closed at $1.4 million on Friday (Sept. 26th) after spending two months trying to convince end consumers to buy into its grand vision for wearable projection. The campaign was originally set to close in early Sept., but the project creators kept it up in hopes to gain as much as traction as possible.

As the project creators describe, “It’s been a long time since mankind has stopped peering into the sky at the sun to calculate the time. Clocks were invented for this purpose. The first clock was created thousands of years ago. There were various types of clock, including sundial, clepsydra, hourglass and others. Since then, the evolution of clock has continued and brought to us the first wristwatch. Every year there emerge dozens of new models of wristwatch, but the operating principle has not changed. We live in a new progressive millennium; everything around us progresses and develops. In our opinion, clock design should be both technically, innovative and fashionable. Watches demonstrating that humanity does not stand still. These are the watches we bring into life.”

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Here’s a quick recap on the feature list (as described on the project page):

  • Special projection technology, which allows using Ritot during the day and night.
  • Due to high quality materials and technical components. Ritot has extended operation life.
  • The user can change the project color with just one click. There are more than 20 colors available.
  • There are two ways to activate projection: you may touch the button or just shake your hand.
  • Projection disappears automatically in 10 seconds.
  • Energy saving technology. 1 month in stand-by mode and 150 hours in projection mode.
  • Waterproof.
  • Size for any hand.
  • Unisex design.
  • 24 or 12 hour time display mode.
  • Projection view is changed for left and right hand
  • While the project certainly sounds innovative, there’s strong internet opinion questioning the legitimacy of the watch. As one project backer describes:

    “It saddens me to know that no one will get their watch as pictured here. It was public knowledge that the founder’s names, locations, and update promises kept changing, yet some shrugged it off. The techies warned that the product cannot be made as advertised, and whatever can be made won’t work as advertised, that was shrugged off too. Unfortunately, the laws that govern light, materials, energy, etc., cannot be shrugged off. February 2015 will pass without the watch that you had hoped for.”

    And another:

    “And so the deed is done. Congrats to nearly 7000 naive people, incompetent/uncaring Indiegogo staff and of course to the Ritot team who proved all you need to become a millionaire on IGG is a few photoshopped pics and high school level basic engineering. To those who did not heed, I feel for you. To those who think you will ever see a product – Hope getting burned here wont kill your crowdfunding love, just make you more careful and properly review the projects you give money to.”

    While I’m all for a new awesome wearable projection watch, seems like it’s too good to be true, considering that the project page is essentially a list of concept images and possible features, without a working prototype. In fact, the feature list suggests that the watch will work during the day, which seems really hard to believe given the low-brightness levels of pico projectors. Just take an ordinary projector outside in the sun to see what we mean.

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    The team even noted:

    “Currently, we don’t have a fully working prototype, the photos in campaign are computer renderings of what we envision the device to look like. Our watches are based on a new projection technology that has proven itself. Our task is to bring our model the closest to the technical ideal. We will do our best to achieve this. You will be able to monitor and even control all production stages and give your suggestions to the first working prototypes.All required components are booked and will arrive soon to start assembling of our prototype. We plan to show the video of the first working prototype as soon as possible. Also we will post updates with more technical information during the campaign. Note, some components may change(and most likely they will) after testing of our prototype. You will be informed with every step of developing.”

    “We want to present the projection at an angle prototype test. The next step is development of optical system which will be installed in future prototypes and further in the final product. As we mentioned earlier to create projection at an acute angle from the face of the bracelet, the optical system will tilt respectively to the mean angle of projection; there will also be digital image correction to compensate for possible changes in the angle of projection in relation to the hands position.”

    Yet, backer comments suggest that a prototype device or decision on projection equipment (DMD chip, optics, etc) is still a far way off, with one backer pointing out:

    “Are you seriously saying that you haven’t even finalized the decision on the DMD you will be using? You are supposed to be starting production tooling in less than two weeks and should’ve almost fully tested the prototype from your chosen manufacturer by now.”

    Comments about founder backgrounds changing certainly does not instill confidence that the project will succeed and the $199 cost given the bill of materials seems questionable. Since the campaign closed though, Ritot has become the 11th most funded campaign on Indiegogo today.

    Pretty remarkable that all it takes is some nice concept images of an idea to get a successful crowd-funded campaign. I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned!

    [Source: CrowdFundInsider, TC]

    Rajinder Sodhi
    I design, research and tinker with new sensing and display techniques (like projection mapping) to make our interactions with computers feel more natural! I've worked for Walt Disney Imagineering and Microsoft Research and made things along the way like Aireal and RoomAlive. Check em' out at rsodhi.com, @lumenra.