Kickstarter has been a great way for creatives to find the funding necessary to get their projects and companies off the ground.
But for every successfully funded idea there are dozens that didn’t reach their goal. Sometimes an idea fails for inexplicable reasons. Other times, the reason is all too obvious.
Last week we showed you three Kickstarter campaigns that didn’t make their goal. Here are three more for your consideration.
Bitar, the Touchscreen Guitar
“I wrote software for smartphones and tablets and then attached them to broken or toy guitars. The results are rockin’.”
So went Maze Hatter’s pitch for Bitar, the Touchscreen Guitar. His idea consists of replacing the traditional playing surfaces on a guitar with Android smartphones that will respond to strumming, chord fingers and so on.
Hatter wrote the apps used by Bitar and networked the devices so that they work together wirelessly. His design never advanced beyond the basics, though. When his Kickstarter pitch went live, the devices were still connected to a traditional guitar body with Velcro.
“Bitar is interesting because it lets me invent tunings that aren't possible with physical strings,” Hatter wrote in his KickStarter pitch. “It has Major scales and Rock/Blues scales built-in.
“I think of new features several times a day, so development is fast and furious.”
He is probably still thinking of new features, but unfortunately investors didn’t think much of his original pitch. The Bitar received just $110 from three backers toward its $10,000 goal.
A guitar player, collector and teacher for more than 30 years, Mike Longacre never found a guitar stand that he liked, so he created one of his own. The Guitar Throne is a combination guitar holder and seat. When inverted, it holds the guitar securely; with the guitar removed and the holder flipped over, it becomes a seat.
It’s a pretty simple idea that was nicely executed. Stabilizers on the sides of the guitar slot help to prevent the guitar from toppling to the side, and the angles of the throne’s cutaway keep contact between it and the guitar to a minimum. The throne touches the guitar in just three places.
Mike was hoping to raise $25,000 to get his project off the ground. He raised $553 from seven backers.
On the bright side, his Guitar Throne has a featured role in the video below.
Robotune looks like an alien device the late Swiss designer H.R. Giger might have dreamed up. This automated tuner straddles your guitar’s neck and latches onto its tuning pegs like it’s going to suck the life force from your beloved ax.
Created by Zhenxiang (John) Zhang, Robotune is designed to fit any six-string guitar, whether its headstock is 3+3 or 6-in-line.
It consists of a motor-driven peg-winder assembly and a separate box that houses an optical transducer array that hears each string’s tuning as well as a Micro-Controller that handles the data from each string and tells the motorized peg winders how much to turn each tuning key. Light arrays on the box let you monitor the Robotuner’s progress for each string. When all six arrays glow green, the guitar is in tune.
Zhang saw benefits in his invention for beginning students, who may be frustrated in their efforts to tune a guitar, and for retail stores, service techs and manufacturers, where it can help deal with high volume.
Impressively, Zhang received a patent on his optical transducer array, which allows the Micro-Controller to deal with the data from each string independently. Other methods of “hearing” the strings would result in crosstalk that would confuse the processor and pick-up ambient noise that would impede Robotune’s precision.
Perhaps because most of the R&D had already been performed, Zhang had a modest Kickstarter goal of just $10,000. Unfortunately, he received just $1,795 toward it before the campaign ended.