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Sony wants you to help fund the development of weird gadgets

Is this a great idea or an exercise in greed?


Mike Wehner


Posted on Jul 1, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 11:04 am CDT

Sony has launched its very own crowdfunding platform to help fund internal projects that the company isn’t comfortable throwing its entire weight behind. 

Unlike services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Sony’s First Flight doesn’t allow outside projects whatsoever. The first products to appear on the platform are Sony’s e-ink wearable, the FES Watch; a sort of universal touchscreen remote called the HUIS Remote Controller; and a system of smarthome sensors called MESH

Sony has framed First Flight as a way for the company to innovate based on what consumers actually want, but should a company with billions of dollars be taking money for gadgets that aren’t even finished yet? Kickstarter has become a go-to for smaller developers and startups that hope to create something that simply wouldn’t be possible without the public’s help. Sony, on the other hand, could absolutely develop and fund these gadgets without the aid of crowdfunding. 

Whether it’s a truly innovative approach or not, it won’t succeed if consumers see it as greedy. That will undoubtedly be Sony’s first hurdle in getting First Flight off the ground. 

Photo via Sony

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*First Published: Jul 1, 2015, 1:57 pm CDT