The Skarp razor is powered by a small laser which cuts through hair for an incredibly close shave without irritating or damaging the skin.
Humm so why was it removed from kickstarter? And it’s not a laser – it’s fiber optic “system”.
We looked at Skarp’s campaign some time ago and it was clearly fish oil, but campaign was closing and full review did not happen. Fortunately, project was removed from Kickstarter after collecting over 4 million, the reason? Team behind the product could not prove they have a working prototype, not even one that can do what developers claim.
After Kickstarter suspension, quickly Skarp reappeared on Indegogo and to our astonishment – people backed it. Currently it sits on $337,000 – small fraction of its initial glory, but it is funded.
So lets lets look at what happened, why its important and if this campaign is worth anything at all.
Lets start with major difference between Kickstarter and Indegogo.
After major uproar about fraud during Kickstarter campaigns in the past, company introduced strict rules and requirements for new products. Core requirement, is availability of whats known as a “functional prototype” – device that looks like finished product and performs like finished product. If you do not have one – you can not use Kickstarter platform to fund your project.
Indegogo is very different in this respect, because they only require – appearance prototype. This type of prototype is representation of how product will look visually, it does not need to have any functionality what so ever. You will notice that 3d models are used allot more in Indegogo campaigns for exactly this reason, and it is a major factor to consider when you look at future projects. You can sell idea of a product on Indegogo but you can’t do that on Kickstarter.
Because Kickstarter offers these safeguards it creates allot more confidence for backers and if you see tech project on Indegogo that claims they have working prototype – they probably don’t and you should look twice, or read our review.
Now that you understand the core issue, it is easy to see why Skarp was suspended – they failed to meet core Kickstarter requirement.
Why did Skarp move to Indegogo?
Launching and maintaining a marketing campaign is very expensive, so with so much money already invested Skarp faced major decision, let go or try to get something. And they decided to go with something.
Is Skarp possible as practical technology for shaving?
Using laser to cut hair close to the skin is unsafe, especially with form factor shown. But they are not using a Laser, they are using thin fiber cable to transmit light.
Demo videos do not show functional prototype or actual shaving of facial hair.
Technology description is deceptively unclear leading us to suspect – project is in idea stage, with end-user practicality not established.
In simple terms – there is no product – there is an idea. We do not think it is possible to create laser(fiber) based shaver at this time that will perform better than or even on par with existing shavers.
Will Skarp laser deliver if funded?
With no functional prototype or demonstration of products ability to actually do what creators claim, shipping deadline set for March of 2016 is impossible.
We strongly recommend that you do not back this project. It may actually be a simple scam. Remember you can always cancel you pledge before campaign ends.
Great discussion happening on reddit covers various aspects on the issue –
I hate posting these kind of things to reddit but I’ve been watching this Kickstarter for a few days now and have been shocked by the number of people backing it, and the amount of money raised for what seems (to me) like an obvious scam.
First of all I think we can all agree that the “technology” behind this seems far-fetched. They claim that a certain wavelength of light will cut your hair. Even if we were to dismiss the fact that the light from the sun contains all the wavelengths (so our hair should fall out if we expose it to the sun), it sounds pseudoscientific to say the least.
Secondly, the caption on the “prototype” image says: “Two of the aluminum prototypes with the laser turned on”. What strikes me about this image is that it simply looks like a plastic razor with a red LED installed. Also, the “face” of the razor (where the red LED light is) doesn’t look anything like the face of the razor in the Demo Video (more on that later). They look like two completely different units.