I used to host a podcast with a few of my friends about crowdfunded technology. My role was generally debunking tech that was patently physically impossible. We stopped doing the podcast a while later, at some point /r/shittykickstarters began on Reddit. Unfortunately, it seems they're a bit too quick on the trigger to "debunk" projects. e.g https://www.reddit.com/r/shittykickstarters/comments/msxj2f/aurora_nutrio_a_smart_cutting_board_that_scans/
It's a cutting board "that scans your food and knows its content". The pitch is swish, and promises a lot. But ultimately, it's a food recognition app in an embedded system, bolted to a cutting board, with a load sensor to measure weight. The problem is that it's purpose is quite similar to another project that was much less feasible, SCiO - which claimed to be a handheld "specrometer" that could "analyse the sugar content of food".
SCiO was 9000% bullshit: https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/angry-kickstarter-backers-ask-scio-wheres-my-pocketsized-molecular-sensor . All I suspect it was was an LED in a handheld box made for the marketing material.
This "Aura Nutrio", though, isn't using magic. It's using a camera. And a load cell. And a bit of image classification ML. It doesn't claim to "analyse the content" of the food. Just knowing it's an apple and how much it weighs gives you enough information to retrieve the information from a nutrition database. I have an app on my phone that can do that. It's not built into a chopping board (that part is a questionable design decision tbh), but it's not impossible.
And yet, my comment in /r/shittykickstarters explaining this is being downvoted https://www.reddit.com/r/shittykickstarters/comments/msxj2f/aurora_nutrio_a_smart_cutting_board_that_scans/guw4ou4
Like, I get it, they've been burned by a fraud with similar claims. And I'm not convinced it's a great project (I certainly am not backing it). But they don't deserve to get the hate they are getting just because their idea is similar to a fraudulent one, or because the OP thinks the idea is "impossible" because they've made an assumption of how the tech is built.
Imagine if the original inventors of the MP3 player had to deal with this kind of rubbish. "You claim you're going to get 60,000 CDs on there by grinding them up into a fine paste, then injecting them into a small tank behind the screen, and then having a tiny gremlin reconstruct them song by song when you want to play them? That's BULLSHIT! You're a FRAUD!". "Wait, no I didn't say any of ...." "You're trying to TAKE my HARD EARNED MONEY" "No, I'm ..." "This should be ILLEGAL!!!"
And, to be clear, I have seen some complete bullshit physically impossible projects successfully funded before, and that's not good. This one, for example: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-skarp-laser-razor-21st-century-shaving#/ - from the outset, it was pretty easy to determine that the product that was trying to be built was physically impossible - or at least wildly impractical. It could well have been ill intentioned, or just incompetence on the inventor's part. But either way, this deserved to be debunked.
But sometimes, people will come up with an idea for a product, and it will be clever - impressive, even - and a crowdfunding project might be just the thing they need to get it off the ground. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's fraudulent.
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