High-tech smart watch has local ties [Savannah Morning News, Ga.]
(Savannah Morning News (GA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 08--It's a watch that can do everything your smart phone does -- and more.
With cutting-edge voice and gesture control technology, the Kreyos Meteor watch syncs with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8 as well as Mac or Windows operating systems. It's waterproof and sports a wide array of features, apps and interchangeable accessories. It allows you to change your music, for example, with the flick of a wrist.
In fact, it doesn't even have to be a watch. It can be attached to lanyards and clips as well as watchbands.
Retailing for $169, the Kreyos Meteor is due on the market in November -- thanks in no small part to the efforts of two Savannah-based companies.
Serandu International and Spyhop Productions have played key roles in launching a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $1.5 million in 40 days for Kreyos, a new technology company based in San Francisco with an international group of stakeholders.
Patricia Roche, who relocated her marketing and public relations firm, Serandu International, to Savannah earlier this year, has led marketing efforts for the launch as vice president of marketing for Kreyos, while Jim and Mari Carswell's Spyhop Productions created the video used to sell the product to potential backers.
"One of the reasons I moved to Savannah from the West Coast is the amazing local talent here," Roche said. "We looked at video production firms in LA and other major cities before going with Spyhop, which did a fabulous job."
Mari Carswell served as producer for the video, while her husband, Jim, directed.
"We were delighted to win the contract to produce the video, especially since we were competing with a lot of West Coast firms in Kreyos' back yard," Mari Carswell said.
"When you are doing a crowdfunding project -- putting your project out there and asking for financial backers -- the video becomes the centerpiece of the campaign," she said. "With attention spans shrinking, a video can quickly sum up the story."
With that in mind, Spyhop Productions set out to make the kind of video that gets potential backers excited and willing to put money into the project.
"A lot of these kinds of videos consist of the head of the company talking about the product and asking for money," Carswell said. "But we knew that one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of all time was for a smart watch with considerably fewer features than this one, so it was important that people know what this product has to offer.
"We decided that instead of telling them, we would show them."
The nearly four-minute video, shot in and around Savannah, features local actors using the product in a number of innovative ways -- including listening to and answering a text message while doing yoga on a paddleboard.
That, said Roche, illustrates one of the biggest things this smart watch brings to market -- a variety of features, such as the waterproof microphone and speaker, created in an expandable platform.
"There are a lot of smart watches starting to come on the market, so when we sat down to design our own, we wanted to be sure it had everything the consumer wanted," she said. "Many of the most popular have bits and pieces, but the Meteor has it all now."
Unlike some smart watches, which will have to wait for the second generation product to add more features, the Meteor can be easily updated online.
"It's designed to download apps that haven't even been developed yet, and it works on all platforms -- iPhone, Android and Windows," Roche said.
One of the Meteor's standout features is a gyroscope that allows it to respond to movement.
"You can change your music, for example, with the flick of a wrist," she said. "But, on the wrist of a golfer, it can use an app to download and analyze a swing."
The wildly successful fundraising campaign, which utilized the Indiegogo crowdfunding site to solicit donations, means the watch will be available by the end of this year.
"We launched the campaign, featuring the video, on June 23 with a goal of $100,000," Roche said. "Forty days -- and 1.6 million video views -- later, we closed the campaign with more than $1.5 million.
Were they surprised by the immediate and overwhelming reaction?
"Not really," Roche said. "We believe in this product.
"This is the smart watch the market has been waiting for."
(c)2013 the Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.)
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