Doubling down to water down

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Remember the Vessyl?
This is the tumbler that has sensors to identify automatically what drink it carries and then use this data to help you track calories and hydration level.

I thought this was a neat idea and ordered one in June last year. At that time they were still sort of kickstarting the funding and the Vessyl was supposed to be shipped by beginning of 2015, if I recall right. Then the shipping date moved by a quarter. And then another quarter. Finally, they were very confident they would ship basically now.

Today I got another email, announcing the next delay:

(…) Our product lead, Hamid Mohammadinia, who formerly led manufacturing at Apple, will continue to assess our sensor challenges. We’ll send out an updated timeline once this assessment is complete. In the meantime, please make sure to claim your free Pryme. If not, you can still get a full refund for your order, just send an email to our Support team.

So no clear timeline but a free Pryme Vessyl, a similar product to the actual Vessyl targeted at people who mostly drink water, and to help them tracking hydration levels.

Sort of a watered down version of the Vessyl, if you excuse the pun.

I guess what might be happening is that the company is slowly falling apart. The cool sensor technology that identifies drinks does not seem to be reliable enough (yet… or not working at all?) and I imagine that VC companies demand that some more money is being made on the merits of an arguably sizable Vessyl campaign that several months ago was featured on the ad banners of every tech website. Or they hope to sell a bunch of Pryme Vessyls to keep the company afloat for a little longer until the actual Vessyl can launch. And to keep the initial private funding from nerds like me in the company, they give a free Pryme Vessyl to everyone, because…

(…) We’ll be sending out emails to each backer, and starting today, you can opt in to receive your Pryme for free. This does not replace your original Vessyl order; it is a token of our appreciation for your patience. We’ll start shipping available Pryme units on the 12th, so make sure to reserve yours early. As a heads up, once you opt in to receive a Pryme, your original Vessyl order becomes non-refundable.

I know what you think: get out as long as you can!
That’s good advice. But I decided to pull through because I want a chance of seeing what these guys have been doing: I’ve accepted the free Pryme Vessyl and am keeping my fingers crossed for the real one to arrive one day.

I admit that my 99 Dollars are likely lost now and best case I will get a tumbler for it that has a basic sensor that simply checks liquid levels and connects to an app that makes a moonshot hydration calculation based on that. And might be crap.

Let’s see…

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