Amazon takes on Kickstarter with three new customer-backed products, more on the way

Amazon Build It

Loads of new and innovative product ideas are out there but never make it to production. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have attempted to create an easier path, but a lot more goes into the development of a product than simply finding backers. Today, Amazon Build It was unveiled, a new program that aims to motivate employees to come up with the next big thing. Enough Amazon shoppers will need to back a Day 1 edition product in order for it to be manufactured. Three new Alexa-enabled products were unveiled today. Continue reading to find out precisely what they do.

Smart Sticky Note Printer

Printers and sticky notes exist, but Amazon’s new Smart Sticky Note Printer capitalizes on the best of both. Using Alexa, owners can already create notes, lists, and more, but this invention paves the way for easily printing out an easy-to-read sticky note. Like receipt printers, no ink is needed, and it is fed with a paper roll. It will ship with a roll of yellow paper, but just like sticky notes, shoppers will be able to choose from a variety of additional colors like blue, pink, or white.

Anyone can pre-order it now via the Amazon Build It program and cash in on a discounted launch price of $89.99. Buyers will not be charged until it becomes a fully-funded product. If it does, shipments are slated for delivery sometime between July and September. Once it receives 100% funding, the price will jump to $114.99.

Smart Nutrition Scale

Another standout product that made the initial list of Amazon Build It items is the Smart Nutrition Scale. With it, customers will be able to “get nutrition info for thousands of food items.” Amazon tells shoppers that they will simply need to “add food to the scale, then ask Alexa for specific data like calories, carbs, or sugar content.” When paired with an Echo Show, all nutrition info will show up there. Pre-order pricing is set at $34.99, and if backed, the official cost will become $44.99. Initial delivery times are similar to Smart Sticky Note Printer.

Smart Cuckoo Clock

Last on the Amazon Build It list is a Smart Cuckoo Clock. Anyone familiar with Echo Wall Clock will have a pretty good idea of what’s going on here. Owners can use their voice to “set timers, alarms, and more.” An LED display shows a countdown of timers. It wields a “clean, modern design has an analog face, swinging pendulum, and mechanical cuckoo that make it easy to read and fun to watch.” It can be pre-ordered for $79.99, and if funded, the price will jump to $99.99. Buyers can anticipate shipment sometime between July and September.

9to5Toys’ Take

I am thrilled to see Amazon Build It come into existence. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have led to some really exciting product launches, but there have also been many funded items that never get to see the light of day. With innovative new products that are backed by Amazon, customers can anticipate funded ideas will be incredibly likely to ship and, even better, make it on time.

While it is disappointing that all Amazon Build It items will be products designed by company employees, I am holding out hope that there eventually may be a path where ideas could be confidentially submitted by anyone for Amazon backing. This would arguably paint Amazon in a better light for anyone that sees it as hurting small businesses.

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