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Super-thin E Ink watch is the latest crowdfunding casualty

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 22, 2015
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You're about to get an all-too-blunt reminder of why crowdfunding sites shouldn't be treated like stores. Central Standard Timing has shelved its extra-thin, Kickstarter-backed CST-01 watch after running into numerous production problems. The project is nearly out of money, and the team has ditched its chosen manufacturer (Flextronics) after deciding that it wasn't a "good fit" for a small startup designing an exotic E Ink wearable. Also, the math behind the production costs simply didn't work out. CST-01's unique design was twice as expensive to build as first thought -- while you typically pledged $129 to get a watch during the crowdfunding campaign, the low part yields meant that the watch actually cost $260.

The team hasn't officially called it quits, but it's highly unlikely that you'll ever get a watch if you were a supporter. CST is considering either selling off all its assets or, if that fails, publishing all its design documents so that those who have the means and desire to make the watch can do it themselves. The move is unfortunate for both the company and the nearly 8,000 people who poured money into CST-01 two years ago. With that said, it's important to remember that crowdfunding is about investing in ideas with the hope that you'll receive a product -- there's no guarantee that you'll get a reward.

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