Recently, I a friend of mine was crowdfunding his next album on Kickstarter. The page debuted, and we all watched anxiously for a month as the funds trickled in. He was always relaxed and calm about it, but his wife would quietly tell me, “I’m so worried!”
The final day of the campaign, Seth still lacked almost half his goal. My husband and I were traveling at the time, but I kept the campaign site pulled up on my phone and hit refresh somewhat obsessively. We were out having drinks with friends when I interrupted the conversation, wildly bouncing in my seat and waving my phone in my husband’s face.
“They did it!!” I yelled, right there in the lobby of the fanciest hotel in town. “They reached their goal!!”
(Don’t worry. I ignored the stares.)
My friend’s story isn’t uncommon. Most crowdfunding campaigns fail, and I’ve personally witnessed several succeed, but come right down to the wire.
That’s not the story for these guys.
The Copenhagen-based startup is making a wireless HDMI dongle that will stream content from your computer to your TV. With 29 days left in their Indiegogo campaign, they’ve already almost doubled their goal.
AIRTAME looks a lot like Chromecast. Like the Google product, it plugs into the TV and uses Wifi to stream content. Chromecast can pull content from smartphones and tablets, but AIRTAME doesn’t have that capability. Yet, anyway.
However, AIRTAME does allow for wireless connections to projectors and to other PCs. Use cases for this include the ability to see a professor’s presentation right on your computer while you take notes or the ability to share presentations across screens during a meeting.
“We believe that everyone should be able to connect to the TV in the living room or the projector in the conference room–wirelessly,” co-founder Brian Kyed said in a statement announcing the Indiegogo campaign. “Therefore AIRTAME works with Mac, Windows, and Linux–so no one is left to use screen cables anymore.”
Considering the massive amount of support AIRTAME has received, it’s a safe bet there’s some demand for their product. Of course, reaching your goal does not a successful campaign make. Many hardware companies hit snags when it comes time to deliver, and we have yet to see if AIRTAME will fall in that camp.
There’s also the whole competing with Google and Apple thing. Not impossible, but very, very hard. My favorite in the TV streaming race is Apple TV because of the licensing deals they are working out with companies like Disney and ESPN. I also kind of love that it’s not dependent on my computer.
AIRTAME could really stand out, though, if they let the TV streaming thing go and focus on the business, classroom, and presentation uses of the product. None of the competition works quite the same way.
The Indiegogo campaign is still live, and last time I checked they still had a few openings in the beta test. That particular perk sold out so fast, they decided to open up another round of it.