Sony is no strange to crowdsourcing as the company has previously tested the crowdfunding waters with a smart lock and an e-ink wearable device in the past. And now, the Tokyo-based company is launching a crowdfunding platform of its own called ‘First Flight’. According to Sony, First Flight will allow consumers to determine the products they want the company to produce.
The crowdfunding platform already has a couple of products that were created via Sony’s Seed Acceleration program which was founded on the basis that employees can pitch new products that they would like to work on. The first product in question is the FES e-ink watch that you saw in the link above while the second product is MESH, a DIY kit that helps you add smart features to all kinds of dumb devices in your house. The only product that is actually on a crowdfunding course is HUIS, a universal remote controller which has reached more than $8,000 of its $40,000 goal.
The ethics of the whole thing are definitely questionable as a huge company like Sony is supposed to have its very own research division because investing in their products is the only way they can justify their profits. One might argue that Sony is giving power to the people but the company is the only one who is going to reap the benefits. As such, it makes far more sense for the company itself to take the financial risks associated with new products, particularly when their operating budget is so enormous.