One of the most hyped projects on Kickstarter, the online small man’s VC, is WooHoo, a device that its parent, SmartBeings, says will make a home into a “smart home.” One problem with the project, which is being promoted by a PR agency called The Crowdfund Mafia (seriously), is that it has raised only $58,630 from 358 backers. It would test the imagination to believe that this sum would come even close to funding the ambitious project in its early stages, let alone get to market with one that is so complex. There may be investment dollars that management does not talk about.
The project describes itself this way on Kickstarter:
WooHoo™’s Artificial Intelligence based and interactive smart hub is the world’s first affordable and easy to use smart home solution.
How advanced is the product?
WooHoo speaks the language of your smart devices as well as yours. Just ask WooHoo, and it will turn on lights, control the temperature , lock the doors, create to-do lists and remind your mom to take the pills …
Artificial intelligence is a term that is thrown around a great deal. One would think to build a complex device that utilizes AI would cost more than $60,000. SmartBeings admits at much at the bottom of its very long WooHoo funding page on Kickstarter. Some of the project may have been funded by management and directors so far, but the success of WooHoo, according to a timeline, is based on two “stretch goals” that total $750,000. Kickstarter participants in the funding will get a WooHoo in May or June.
Why should Kickstarter investors put money into WooHoo now, beyond that is a belief in the project’s success?
Becoming a backer means that you’ll get exclusive discounts and prices that we’ll never offer again. It also means that you’ll be the first to receive and enjoy WooHoo Smart Hub, months ahead of its availability in retail.
Once it is launched, WooHoo should be able to compete, based on SmartBeing’s description, with products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
SmartBeings says that WooHoo was born in Silicon Valley. That makes a difference.