Wearable devices in general and smartwatches in particular are having trouble connecting with a mainstream global audience, as proven by the untimely deaths of market veterans like Pebble and Jawbone.
Not even Fitbit is doing as well as it used to anymore, while Google’s Wear OS platform has yet to take off, and Samsung reportedly wants to abandon its own operating system in favor of the aforementioned struggler.
All things considered, it’s certainly not shocking to hear about the failure of another smaller industry player. Unfortunately, 2007-founded, US-based Martian is forced to “shut down operations and close the company” before fulfilling all orders placed on Kickstarter for the mVoice G2.
The latest crowdfunding project created by Martian Watches earned a solid $336,976 from over 2,000 backers, of which the wearable manufacturer was only able to use $276,766 after “deduction for certain fees.”
Those funds were all invested in the G2’s convoluted road to market, from “custom development of technologies, parts and components” to “regulatory certification and tests”, “production parts and materials”, as well as actual “product hardware and software engineering.”
But ultimately, a measly 480 units were shipped last month to “backers who selected Sky and Lunar models” before the company ran out of money and time. After pursuing every possible salvation avenue, including a desperate search for new investors, asking for help from existing financiers, and even intellectual property licensing, Martian Watches was left with no choice.
“All operations” have been recently terminated, and “remaining assets”, consisting “mostly of intellectual property rights, including patents related to the Martian Watch brand” will be liquidated as soon as possible for “distribution to creditors on a pro rata basis.”
There’s no word on refunds for the vast majority of Kickstarter endorsers, although Martian is promising some sort of an “update” on “the next steps” to be delivered in “approximately 30 days.” Who knows, maybe those patents are worth enough to cover the defunct company’s debts and provide satisfactory compensation for everyone who believed in the mVoice G2 project.