by Vergence Labs (deleted)
Social Video Electric Eyewear can record & share your perspective as video socially on the web & in apps. Instantly turn-on sunglasses.
Funding for this project was suspended by Kickstarter on June 5, 2012.
Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Came back here after returning from vacation and found this moved to ...
A better deal for ZE backers there, too.
About the comment deletion, they also need the ability to IP ban or report users to the Indiegogo moderation. There is this troll account called "Caveat Emptor" (Latin for "let the buyer beware") that has offered nothing new or constructive in their comments. You know with almost absolute certainty that this account will never be used to fund this project. It simply exists to harass.
I would not be surprised if this project failed to deliver, but it will not fail for the reasons that the trolls suggest. Also, given my experience funding technology projects on Kickstarter, there is a 85% chance that it will take longer, perhaps much longer, than they are estimating. But that not due to malice. Engineers have a strong tendency to pad a little bit of time for the known unknowns, but not enough for the unknown unknowns. Unknowns are just a part of the creative product development process. If you do not have them, then you are just funding an assembly line, which is not what this risky and ambitious project is.
Crap...I of course spelled "lowers" with an 's...there goes my argument :)
Honestly...this site doesn't even make a difference anymore...stop wasting your time causing bad publicity for someone else. If we all get scammed, it's our fault for believing and their fault for not delivering. Life happens - you're really not trying to save anyone, you just want to be proven correct. If you really have such a problem with everything, and it is taking up this much of your life - do something more productive than post a comment, because I doubt Vergence Labs give's a crap about this website anymore. It's like beating a dead horse now, and it lower's the I.Q. of the room.
Note that Vergence is deleting comments on Indiegogo. Apparently, Indiegogo allows project organizers to delete comments whereas Kickstarter does not. You can't tell anything from reading the Indiegogo comments because Vergence is deleting those that are critical or questioning. It also appears that the "Chief Science Officer" just graduated from college last month and that his "professional engineering experience" at Facebook was as an intern. Vergence is claiming that within six months they will ship a revolutionary product, yet they have no funding they are willing to identify, not even a public web page other than their crowdfunding projects, and their entire research staff is a kid who graduated from college last month. Still think it's surprising the Kickstarter cancelled this? Anyone who wants to give these guys money is free to do so, but just be aware you are making a donation, not buying a product. Whether or not you expect to ever see a product is up to you to decide.
That looks like they were feeling defensive after Robert's unnecessarily antagonistic language though =P; he basically accused them of being a corporate saboteur simply because they were asking questions they seem to have field knowledge on. =S
I only bring this up because on a iDevice Curly Cable project a similar thing happened where a man with knowledge of cable construction raised a concern early on. The team basically said "No don't worry, we know what we're doing!" and he was satisfied they'd addressed it (without having to give away exact trade secrets, just by talking and giving reassurances and a general idea of how they've addressed it). But then when the cables shipped they would all fail after a few uses because of the issue the man brought up.
I've heard Vergence Lab's comments have been deleted below, so I can't really see how they responded to the questions. I just feel that Kickstarter does encourage a bond between a project owner and their backers, because of the risk factor involved, so I don't know why people are scoffing at the idea of a public relations guy as if it's a joke.
They seem to be a lot more active on the IndieGoGo comments section at the moment, which is good. =P Can't they just get an enthusiastic family member/friend to read Kickstarter/IndieGoGo every day and compile questions and then ask the team in their down time? It just seems really odd to me that you'd go for a croudfunding model without a PR Guy, when almost all the other projects I've backed (though mostly art/video games) have such a guy.
Specifically about the battery, I think that was more about their goals with the project. I think it was the Hanfree that kept trying to move the milestone as the features they wanted to implement turned out harder to do than they realised, so instead of dropping the feature they've put more time and Kickstarter money into it with still no appreciable results. And now the backers are taking legal action against their refusal to release any information on where the money has been spent. >.<
Being skeptical is a good thing, but it can be done without hyperbole and antagonistic language. A complex project with 261 backers and two technical people running it can only do so much public relations work. Expecting personal attention in this type of project with rudeness is unreasonable. If I were them, I would immediately refund the money of anyone who would treat me like that. I am not sure if Kickstarter lets projects do that. There is one backer who made 6 comments about this project's deliverability based on the 6 hour battery life plus 3 others about funding, most of them antagonistic.
The 6-8 hour battery runtime was a bit optimistic from my perspective, but it was clear to me that it was something that they hoped to improve to and should not be read as a shipping requirement. I certainly did not see it as a requirement. So to say stuff like "Projects which violate thermodynamics don't ship" is antagonistic. Their code is currently in the prototype stage and runs at about 2 hours. As a programmer, I know that unaccelerated code consumes many times more power than accelerated, so to state that large of an improvement is not unreasonable. Lets say the improvement only brings the total runtime to 3 hours (a pessimistic estimate). Does that make the product unshipable? Absolutely not. Most people would not need that. At worst, you can extend the runtime with an optional lower resolution, less sophisticated encoding, and/or a quick connect to a larger battery if you really need to wear the glasses longer than 3 hours straight without putting it on a charger (could be a simple glasses case with a builtin docking station and battery, or a quick battery swap; there is opportunity for creativity here). It would still be a revolutionary project well worth funding. My point is, none of this justifies accusations that the project will be a failure. The fact that they got it working as well as they did in their videos is more than adequate to justify crowd funding, which is why I found the "unshipable" comment to be antagonistic and worthy of dismissal.
Hmm, I don't know if you're being a bit cynical about cynical people there... Not to get too meta.
Most of the people I've seen posting asking for details seem to be doing so because of multiple other projects over the past year that have gone through similar stages and ended up wildly miscalculated in either funding or time.
They're just trying to make sure on how to pick the difference between legit projects, scams, and projects that are legit but miscalculate on things that can be discussed in the funding phase.
Saying "Vergence does good business, and states what is true." isn't really backed up by anything. I mean I'm not disputing it, but I can see how people who've been burned on design projects in the past would like something a little more solid. If you'd fallen into two traps and saw a bunch of people walking towards what could be a third one, wouldn't you want to help them make sure they're sure of what they're doing?
Honestly, those who don't have anything positive to say should just stop saying things. Vergence does good business, and states what is true. There doesn't need to be sugar coating and over-politeness - that doesn't get things done. Tech specs are great to know (if you need to know them...need to), and I'd love to spend time being cynical and/or generally irritating about things in the past, but (and here's the big truth bomb) I would really REALLY love if negative and skeptical people kept on asking nit-picky questions and commenting arrogantly and/or ignorantly in ways that require the time and attention of our developers to respond appropriately to. Please Vergance labs, spend the next 45 days playing the politics game and the make-everyone-in-the-comments-section-happy game.
Either buy a pair of glasses and be excited - or shush yourself.
Still, the question was spammed at least 3 times, and was worded as a "I demand that you answer these questions or your project is a failure" tone. It is kind of funny that "competitors" were mentioned in this "question" (double quotes because it could be read with different intentions) and yet the questioner demanded that their trade secrets be published openly to satisfy their question. It is common for the manufacturing design to not be open and for production optimizations (which could not be determined until after funds have been used) to not be worked out on day 1 of the funding, so I found the expectations to be unreasonable and the "questions" antagonistic. There is always risk in pioneering a new product. If this were simple and risk free, it would have been done by now, but I would rather help some smart people take a stab at it.
I think that their biggest flaw was representing the rewards as purchases or preorders, but implying that seems to be common on Kickstarter.
That's not a straw man argument though... =S It's a question.
I think it was in relation to the third FAQ:
"Current record time is max about 2-3hrs -- we are doing our best to get it up for 6-8hrs in the shippable production model."
@Gil, You were asking them about how they were going to fit a 6 hour battery when the FAQ stated that the SD card had a 2 hour record capacity and that the battery runtime time would match the SD card capacity. If someone were pestering me with straw man argument, I too would be annoyed.
@tasha don't get butt hurt that vergence wrote all in caps this isn't a chat room lol.
I was one of the backers for zeyes and I can tell you that they've done a really poor job at managing their project. Originally they wanted only 50,000 but managed to gather over 300,000. This was nearly a year ago, the glasses were suppose to ship back in 2011. They haven't updated in a while and when you email them directly they never respond. Oh even though they gathered 300,000, they still asked for additional funds!!
No matter how smart you are, developing a product as complex as this takes a lot of money. The organizers responded to legitimate questions with hostility and threats. Kickstarter had good reason to cancel it.
1) There's no need to yell.
2) Your emails - the updates *you* sent from Kickstarter - were undeniably negative about the ZE project - you mentioned mismanagement, failure to deliver, "ZionEyez dropped the ball", and your superiority.
You brought this upon yourself, so maybe you should learn from that mistake and be a little less arrogant and shouty.
AGAIN THIS IS VERGENCE FROM A FRIEND'S ACCOUNT.
THE PROJECT IS AND PLEDGES ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT ON KICKSTARTER BUT IS NOW ACTIVE AND READY TO BE PLEDGED FOR ON INDIE GOGO:
ALL KICKSTARTER CONTRIBUTORS PLEASE REPLEDGE ON INDIEGOGO -- THE GLASSES ARE BEING OFFERED FOR $10 LESS ON THAT SITE TO COMPENSATE YOU FOR YOUR TROUBLES.
RE-PLEDGE HERE! THANK YOU:
ALSO - WE HAVE BEEN 100% POSITIVE THE ENTIRE TIME ABOUT ZE -- WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EDITORIALIZATION OR COMMENTS OF OTHER ACCOUNTS.
WE OFFERED A FREE SET OF GLASSES TO ALL PREVIOUS PLEDGERS OF A PREVIOUSLY FAILED PROJECT -- EVERYONE WAS VERY HAPPY ABOUT THIS AND WE GOT TONS OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK AND NOT ONE NEGATIVE REMARK.
WE HAVE NO WAY OF CONTROLLING THE EDITORIALIZATION OF THIS INFORMATION OR THE MISINTERPRETATION OF EVENTS BY OTHERS. WE'VE STAYED POSITIVE AND REMAIN EXCITED ABOUT DELIVERING THESE GLASSES TO EVERYONE -- WE ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN OF THE DEMAND AND THAT THIS PROJECT WILL BE EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL ON INDIEGOGO!
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND LET'S MOVE THIS WONDERFUL PARTY OVER TO INDIE GOGO --
I was excited about Vergence, but when I started getting multiple emails from them shitting all over someone else's project (of which I was not previously aware, and have no personal knowledge), I started to feel iffy about the whole situation. They were riding the drama llama, and it was immature and grating. Negative campaigning really isn't necessary if you're trying to build enthusiasm for a project, and they may have thought the ZE project was a much bigger issue than it really was. I won't be re-funding Vergence on indiegogo - I didn't have a lot of $ to kick in to begin with, so they probably won't miss me, but the behaviour of Vergence has left a bad taste in my mouth.
@Gil Why do you keep saying that engineering will cost more than $50k? The founders of this company (all of which have vast relevant experience) are brilliant and hard-working enough to design, engineer. prototype, and scale the product themselves. They are working more than full time, not paying themselves anything and already have all of the necessary equipment and infrastructure. Where do you see your purported costs coming from?
Hi, this is Jon Rodriguez from Vergence writing via a friend's account.
Kickstarter has not notified us of or provided any grounds for their aggressive action. Now that we know that they do stuff like this, we have migrated the project to a competing and hopefully better crowd funding platform:
Vergence Labs Social Video Glasses: Now on IndieGoGo!
If you believe in us and our true ability to deliver you a fantastic, fully functional, and stylish product, thank you. We respect you and we promise to deliver you your pledge rewards if you please re-pledge on IndieGoGo.
Please support fashionable, high-tech computer eyewear. A good percentage of people have already started re-pledging at IndieGoGo, and we invite you to immediately as well! Please message other backers to do the same!
We appreciate your faith and we will make good on our word. We're even offering the video glasses at a $10 discount!!
Chief Science Officer of Vergence Labs (also an Eagle Scout)
Not sure what happened, but I know these guys will come through:
Now we have to try and push it even more because of the disheartened ones.
Probably because they were shitting on that other campaign.....I assume.
I don't know why Kickstarter cancelled the project, but maybe it sounded too good to be true. From a technical standpoint, the battery substrate alone would have had to weigh at least 15g to achieve the energy content they claimed. Projects which violate thermodynamics don't ship. From a financial standpoint, engineering all the components they planned to include into a pair of glasses would, even if feasible, cost much more than $50,000. They claimed to already have the necessary funds even without Kickstarter. If so, why were they running a Kickstarter? Also, they responded to legitimate, critical questions with hand waiving and threats. This project raised may red flags and Kickstarter had reason to cancel it. Since the organizers said they already had the money they needed, let them prove their claims by producing the product. If it every actually exists, I'll be first in line to buy it.
@Dominic Risk - I sent Kickstarter an email basically saying the same thing. People follow suit? Would it help?
I got an e-mail that specifies the account was suspended (I didn't realise that when somebody said that before they were using the word to mean other than just cancelled")
The following link shows their policy on suspensions (partly quoted by Rob Howard below)
One bit says:
Q. Can I find out why a project was suspended?
A. No. For legal and privacy reasons, Kickstarter does not comment on moderator actions.
Basically we can't do anything but speculate and Vergence Labs will likely have to wait until Kickstarter tells them why this happened. Another bit says that suspensions are irreversible... If they're to try again they'll have to start from scratch and replicate it and hope the word gets out to those backers that are still interested.
Can Vergence or Kickstarter give us some answers please? I have been searching for a project to back for a few months and chose this as my first - hardly inspiring me to invest in other projects if it can be cancelled so close to completion.
"Why would a project be suspended?"
Kickstarter relies on the discernment of backers to determine the viability of a project and a creator’s ability to complete it. However, there are certain instances where action may be taken by Kickstarter.
A project may be suspended if it:
• Materially changes the stated use of funds
• Makes unverifiable claims
• Exhibits actions that are more closely associated with fraudulent or high-risk activity
Kickstarter is not the only crowd funding site....
From Vergence from it's deleted Kickstarter account
"Rss Get updates by RSS
Update #13: New Singularity Hub Article. Wow, what a title (click link to view)!
Posted about 17 hours ago
ZionEyez dropped the ball, and Vergence Labs will pick it up. Anyone who pledged money to ZionEyez to get a pair of their yet-to-actually-be-delivered video camera glasses, can now recoup their losses by joining the Vergence Labs Kickstarter. A completely unrelated company, Vergence Labs also has a video glasses device they are prepping for launch..."
The language "Anyone who pledged money to ZionEyez to get a pair of their yet-to-actually-be-delivered video camera glasses...." connotates sales and deliveries, not crowdfunding DONATIONS"
Vergence profile deleted....
Even worse - http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/vergencelabs
These are donations, not sales deposits! ZionEyez nor Turn-on ARE FOR SALE - and speculations on Kickstarter, while they might not incur legally liabelous actions - DO EFFECT THE KICKSTARTER RULES! What a shame!~
If it was the Zion comments/offers - maybe the better route to take would've been to simply offer the Zion folks a price guarantee ONCE the glasses were made. Hope this gets sorted out pretty quick - was looking forward to this one.
Sweet, I didn't see that tweet. I'm glad they're on it...I've been glued to the computer screen.
WTF! I just pledged an hour ago!
On erick_miller's twitter (6 minutes ago):
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED BUT KICKSTARTER JUST CANCELED OUR PROJECT 38 HOURS BEFORE IT WAS COMPLETE. LOOKING INTO IT NOW!!! CRAZY!!!!!"
The other ones were 22 minutes ago or so and didn't seem to realise it was cancelled.
I'm worried it might not be because of what they said about another kickstarter project (regardless if true or not) but perhaps because they offered an incentive to back this project exclusive to people who backed another unrelated project that was "successfully funded"? Or something along those lines?
Still hoping it was a server error on Kickstarter's behalf or something though.
@Jared Trezise - they're both really great at getting back to you on Twitter, if you wanna follow em: @VergenceLabs
That sounds plausible... and very unfortunate if true.
Trying to find the TOC again to read through and see. You'd think they'd be given a warning or something first, or be told to remove the offer that was based on another Kickstarter project's failure. Outright deleting the account behind a project within two days of successful funding seems a bit overkill.
I kind of want to post an e-mail address here so the team can contact us if they're watching. As it stands they wont be able to post anything on this project because they won't have backed it with another account...
I just don't really want to post my e-mail on a public forum like this. Maybe I have an old one somewhere...
Read what they wrote - It's non offensive. It's the truth.
"We are absolutely certain that if in fact the Zion project is failing, it is due to the team's mismanagement of it's resources, rather than the product itself -- and want to make sure everyone understands that any team can fail or succeed. You can rest assured that we are a team that will succeed, as we have with all previous endeavors."
Look at the news! They are failing! Another company producing a product that can be described as similar to this one to those people who don't really do their research. Of course they are going to say that it's the team's management rather than the product - that makes sense! Both products reached their Kickstarter goal, so It's really apparent that this idea will sell. The thing that sets Vergence Labs apart is the fact being that (again, reading and doing research is usually a good thing) their probability is higher of producing this product at this point in time than Zion. That's the reality of the situation, and honestly that's good business.
I truly hope that you guys got hacked or something, because then it can be fixed.
Yeah me too... o.O
I just posted something to Update #11 then realised there was up to 13 updates, and it said the project was cancelled 3 minutes ago.
I thought I'd opened the ZionEyes tab or something, because of the name of the update, but that was successfully funded. I thought it might be a glitch on my end (too many tabs at the moment) but two others now have seen it...
All I can think is:
A) They got hacked by somebody who deleted their Kickstarter account
B) They accidentally deleted their Kickstarter account/canceled the project by clicking the wrong button or something
C) They got taken off Kickstarter forcefully when something unfavourable came to light (such as a relation to ZionEyes).
My guess is it had to do with trash talking/ treading on the Zion project. Pretty sure that violates the TOC for the site. While the idea behind their offer was right, I guess Kickstarter didn't like how they proposed to do it.
So....I saw this project die before my very eyes...literally...refreshed the page and it was gone.
"A Design project in Palo Alto, CA by Vergence Labs (deleted)"
"Sorry! This person is no longer active on Kickstarter."
Funding for this project was canceled 4 minutes ago."
With 38 hours to go. o.O
Did I miss something?
This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.
Hey Vergence! Of course I read Singularity Hub! I mean... I didn't read it before you guys were on there, but now that I see how amazingly cool the future can be, I've been reading it all the time!!! This singularity thing I still don't get it but think that blog is way real cool and super futuristic. Feel like I'm reading a sci-fi novel but then realize it's all real science they are talking about on there and see that we have stuff like robots and all kinds of awesome stuff!
What you don't think a cute girl like me can read Singularity Hub ;)