Smart Home | February 17, 2021 11:45 am

Amazon’s “Build It” Is a New Twist on Crowdfunding

Only smart devices that get enough pre-orders will be built

Smart Nutrition Scale
The Smart Nutrition Scale is part of three new Build It pre-orders at Amazon
Amazon

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.

The next big Amazon initiative is … crowdfunding?

That product launch concept isn’t new, but having the e-commerce giant put out tech concepts that’ll only be built if they reach pre-order goals is a novel approach for a company not named Kickstarter (or Taylor Stitch). There is some precedent here, however: Amazon has done these “Day 1 Editions” before and even their Prime Video division used to have viewers vote on pilots for TV shows before they were funded as full series.

Here’s how Amazon describes their new Build It program: “If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, we’ll begin to build it—and supporters like you will be among the first to get their hands on it. When you pre-order, you will lock in a special price, and you’ll only be charged if and when the product ships. If the pre-order goal is not met, the product will not be built, and you won’t be charged.”

Easy enough. The pre-order prices are available through March 19.

The first three releases:

Smart Sticky Note Printer
Amazon

Smart Sticky Note Printer

Using voice-to-print technology, this hands-free and Alexa-compatible sticky note printer uses thermal technology, so it never needs ink or toner.  

Smart Nutrition Scale
Amazon

Smart Nutrition Scale

Hands-free access to nutritional information for ingredients and food based on weight (e.g. ““Alexa, ask Smart Scale to weigh 200 calories of blueberries”). And paired with an Echo Show, you can also view nutritional information at a glance.

Smart Cuckoo Clock
Amazon

Smart Cuckoo Clock

Also Alexa-powered, this mountable clock — which you can also place on a shelf — features 60 LEDs, a mechanical pop-out cuckoo bird and built-in speakers for timers and alarms. And you can use Alexa to set timers.