We caught up with TouchJet, the company behind one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history.
When we first came across TouchJet (then known as TouchPico), they were crowdfunding — quite successfully, reaching USD 55,000 in two days — on Indiegogo. Their product, a wireless, portable projector around the size of a large smartphone, can create an 80” touch screen on any surface. It combines an 80-lumen Pico projector with an Android PC, which users can preload with content apps such as Hulu, Netflix, Angry Birds and Skype. There is also a stylus pen that can be used to interact with the projected images through infrared detection.
Not only was the technology interesting, the potential uses were many — a pocket sized, touch screen enabled projector would not only enhance business and educational experiences, there was equal potential in entertainment and leisure applications. It is this pervasive functionality, and easy integration due to smartphone compatibility, that resulted in one of the most successful Indiegogo campaigns in history. The campaign for their first product, now called the Touchjet Pond Projector, raised more than USD 800,000.
The projector launched in May this year, after the completion of manufacturing and various rounds of testing. And, as promised, it turns any flat surface (wall, ceiling, table) into a supersized 80” touchscreen virtual tablet, enabled with just the click of a stylus or the Bluetooth air mouse. “It’s ultra-portable and easy to use,” they tell us, “All you have to do is turn it on, grab a stylus and you can instantly start interacting: play games, write on documents or watch videos, all in one place.”
The product is roughly the size of a day planner, so users can easily fit it in a briefcase, backpack or purse. Presentation can be delivered without carrying a laptop, movies can be streamed without a tablet, and any mobile games on Google Play can be played without a smartphone.
“We believe we’ve been successful because we are delivering products that are innovative, entertaining and solving a huge problem — single devices are taking away interaction and collaboration,” Touchjets tells us. Their founders wanted to take the experience and joy that comes from a smartphone and blow it up so multiple people can play, learn or work together.
The biggest challenge the team faced since we wrote about them in July last year, was down to timing. “As far as challenges, the biggest area has been in the manufacturing and shipping of the product to the Indiegogo backers in a timely manner.” They have incorporated these learnings into their new manufacturing process, and believe that their next distribution phase will be much smoother.
The team says they have also learnt a lot by accomplishing milestones together. “From the first prototype to final specs and mass production, we’ve improved both our product hardware design and software experience.” They have now put resources behind customer services and consumer communications to make sure users have the best experience possible.
“It’s not easy but very rewarding,” they add. The product has recently received very positive reviews from both users and media, which has fuelled further development within the business. Their next product is the Touchet WAVE, which turns any flatscreen, TV, or monitor into an interactive touchscreen. It works by sitting on top of a TV and reads finger motions and gestures using infrared cameras. It takes the interactivity of mobile apps, and projects it so everyone can share the experience. And like its predecessor, it is highly compatible and can easily integrate into existing products and tech. The product is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and has raised almost USD 500,000 so far.
“We are really excited to be delivering another product that encourages collaboration with families, workers and students.” Now investing more in R&D, they have plans that include a mobile app in the near future. “This is only the beginning of the journey,” they say.
Learn more about TouchJet here.
2nd September 2015