Last year we shot a video story about Ticwatch, a Chinese smartwatch that really stood out from the competition. Impressive though it was, the watch was frustratingly only available in Mandarin. Until now: Mobvoi, the Beijing-based company behind the gadget, has released an English version of its watch via Kickstarter.
After just three days on Kickstarter, more than 3,000 people have backed the project, propelling the Ticwatch 2 past $500,000 from its backers. The project smashed its modest $50,000 funding goal just 10 minutes after going live.
That rush of interest means that the initial $100 “early bird” deal sold out, but the company is replenishing its other offers — which are priced upwards of $139 — to give latecomers the chance to grab a slice of the action.
Yuanyuan Li, one of Mobvoi’s co-founders, told TechCrunch that the team is delighted by the initial reception the watch has received.
“We’re working around the clock and watching new backers come in from across the world,” she said.
The company sold the original Mandarin version of its watch via standard e-commerce channels in China, but, with the international model, it opted for crowdfunding to build a community of international users to help refine its software and services.