Vuefine+ is Back on Kickstarter

Vuefine is one of those clip-on augmented reality displays that tried to compete with Google Glass with a much lower price tag. In 2015, they had a first Kickstarter campaign and as a result delivered 1,400 devices to their backers. With the demise of the Google Glass most of these look around displays for consumers also started to disappear. While this device type is still used in the commercial markets, Vufine, the Sunnyvale, CA-based start-up company is now making a second run on Kickstarter with the Vufine+.

Source: Vuefine+ Kickstarter campaign

The new and improved version is very similar to the old version, but adds more ways to adjust the device to the user’s requirements as well as adding a higher resolution display panel. Connectivity is still provided by an HDMI cable and charging is done via a micro USB. The new display panel is a LCOS qHD 960×540 pixel display that accepts video input of 720p. While this is better than before this is not a high resolution display by any means, but should be enough to create an acceptable image. The focal distance is fixed at 12 inches (30cm) and the size of the resulting image is only 4″. Widescreen formats are shown in standard, fit, or zoom mode to give the user a better experience.

The Vufine+ has attracted over 1,000 backers for a total of $200,000 compared to a $100,000 goal. The expected price of the Vuefine+ is $199 even though you can get a $20 discount if you did go for the Kickstarter exclusive. The early bird specials were already sold out when we checked the site. The device is slated to ship in January of 2017, which means that they are pretty far into their design and prototyping phase and are already entering the manufacturing stage.

Analyst Comment

It is somewhat surprising to see a company going for a second Kickstarter campaign after a successful first campaign. In this case the changes are even somewhat minor and focus on a higher resolution display. It appears that they are using Kickstarter as a marketing and sales channel rather than a real crowdfunding of a new idea. (NH)