Crowdfunding
has exploded on the scene in the past few years, and wearables are one of the
hottest commodities.

The
concept of crowdfunding has been around for centuries, but it’s considered a
new industry to many, thanks to the popularity of campaigns on websites such as
Kickstarter
and Indiegogo.
With crowdfunding, a project is funded with small amounts of money, sometimes
as little as $1, from a large number of people. 

The
newest form of crowdfunding, known as equity
crowdfunding, will help make the concept mainstream. According to Forbes, equity
crowdfunding allows accredited investors to be solicited under the 2012 JOBS
Act. The investors receive a portion of profits or anything else that could be
considered a financial return. Entrepreneur identifies four other types of
crowdfunding: donation, reward, debt, and royalty.

Crowdfunded
transactions totaled $1.5 billion in 2011 and grew to more than $5 billion in 2013. The Crowdfunding Industry Report projects that in
2014, transactions could exceed $10 billion. Wearable tech manufacturers have
been prominent on crowdfunding websites, since the Pebble smartwatch became the most successful crowdfunded project in history.
 

In no particular order, here
are 10 of the top wearable tech campaigns from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

1: Pebble

Raised: $10,266,845
Goal: $100,000

The Pebble smartwatch is arguably the most well-known wearable crowdfunded
campaign, raising more than $10 million in 2012. The project raised $100,000 in
the first two hours alone. Pebble began shipping in January 2013, and Pebble Steel, the 2.0 version, began shipping last month.

Pebble’s new appstore debuted in early February.

2: Agent

Raised: $1,012,742
Goal: $100,000

 Agent, which bills itself as “the
world’s smartest watch,” is a smartwatch that has longer battery life and
Qi wireless charging. It does the usual smartwatch tasks, using Bluetooth to
connect to your smartphone, displaying incoming calls and notifications, allowing
control of your music library, and providing a wrist-based display for
smartphone apps.

 3: Kreyos Meteor

Raised:
$1,502,310
Goal:
$100,000

 The
Kreyos Meteor smartwatch is a hands-free, two-way communication system that
can be worn on a wrist or belt or attached to a bike. Kreyos came to Indiegogo
seeking help to finalize its software development and go into mass production. Most
of the funding requested was applied to final software coding, testing, and UI
design.

4: Amiigo

Raised:
$580,710
Goal:
$90,000

The
Amiigo fitness bracelet
measures and tracks specific exercises, reps, sets, heart rate, and calories
burned. Amiigo wanted to create something that would allow people to track the details
of an exercise routine and how it affects the body. It used the campaign to
provide funding for production. The company now has all the components for
production in hand and is conducting final tests and final assembly.  

5: MEMI

Raised:
$101,144
Goal:
$100,000

Although
the campaign for the MEMI smartbracelet reached
only slightly more than its $100,000 goal, it’s notable because it’s one of the
few pieces of wearable tech that targets women and is actually stylish enough
to be worn as a piece of jewelry. Most smartjewelry, from bracelets to
necklaces to rings, claims to be chic but isn’t. MEMI looks like a piece of attractive
fashion jewelry. Sometimes it’s impossible for women to carry a phone or hear a
ringer when buried in a purse, so the MEMI uses Bluetooth to notify the user of
incoming calls, text messages, and calendar reminders. 

6: GlassUp

Raised:
$127,738
Goal:
$150,000

The
GlassUp campaign for
augmented reality glasses didn’t reach its initial goal, but it’s worth
mentioning because the product received numerous media reviews
at CES 2014 as a sporty alternative to Google Glass. GlassUp displays emails,
text messages, directions, heartbeats, translations, and any other info
selected by the relevant apps on your smartphone. GlassUp acts as a second screen
output for your devices. Information is sent from your smartphone to your
GlassUp via a Bluetooth connection. Funding was applied to the
industrialization needed to finalize the specs, finding suppliers, defining the
production process, and additional patent filings.  

7: Atlas

Raised:
$318,043
Goal:
$125,000

The
Atlas fitness tracker is a
wearable device that tracks and identifies different activities, evaluates your
form, counts your reps and sets, and calculates the calories burned. With a single
on-wrist device, Atlas can track your body on the x-, y- and z-axes. It is
precise and can tell the difference between pushups and triangle pushups, bicep
curls and alternating bicep curls, and squats and dead lifts. Atlas logs your
workout with almost zero user action and keeps track of your heart rate so you
can see how each movement affects your body. The majority of funding went to
manufacturing to scale.

8: Smarty Ring

Raised:
$299,049
Goal:
$40,000

 Smarty Ring is a wearable device that allows you to remotely control your
phone and never miss a call, text, alarm, tweet, etc.  It uses Bluetooth 4.0 for real-time updates. Contributions made to Smarty Ring were applied to the first round of production
and helped transform conceptual design into a real piece of technology.  

9: Neptune Pine

Raised:
$801,224
Goal:
$100,000

The Neptune Pine campaign
describes the product as an “all-in-one smartwatch” that can be used
for voice calls and video chat and features a full keyboard and GPS. A CNET review said
the smartwatch still has some hurdles to get over before it can deliver a cool
and useable interface. But the success of the campaign makes this one
noteworthy.

10: Pivothead SMART

Raised:
$159,613
Goal:
$100,000

Pivothead
Wearable Imaging successfully funded its second-generation product, Pivothead SMART. The
campaign ended in January and will be used toward the research and development
costs of launching the new product. Pivothead SMART is geared toward content
creation. It takes a unique modular approach to smartglasses. The chassis of
the glasses contains Bluetooth, LED indicator lights and a camera capable of
shooting full HD 1080p video and 8MP still images. The snap-on SmartMods were
designed to addresses a few key challenges facing wearable technology: the
continual need for more memory, power, and connectivity.

Wearable policy

If you allow employees to use wearables, the Tech Pro
Research wearable device policy will come in handy. It details several types of devices and
their business applications, as well as defining acceptable use for both
company-owned and personal devices. Just download the policy and customize it
to fit your needs. (Note: The download requires a Tech Pro Research
subscription.)