SOAP: The Home Automation Router And Kickstarter Scam

How would you like a 7″ tablet with a Quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, USB 3.0, 32 GB of storage, 802.11ac, four ports of Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, SATA, HDMI, built-in Zigbee and RFID modules, a camera, speaker and microphone, all for $170? Sound too good to be true? That’s because it probably is. Meet SOAP, the home automation router with a touchscreen, that’s shaping up to be one of the largest scams Kickstarter has ever seen.

There have been a few threads scattered over the web going over some of the… “inconsistencies” about the SOAP kickstarter, mainly focusing on the possibility of fake Facebook likes and Twitter followers. There’s also the question of their development process: they started building a router with an Arduino, then moved on to a Raspberry Pi, a Beaglebone, Intel Atom-powered Minnowboard, the Gizmo Board, PandaBoard, and Wandboard. If you’re keeping track, that’s at least six completely different architectures used in their development iterations. Anyone who has ever tried to build something – not even build a product, mind you – will realize there’s something off here. This isn’t even considering a reasonably accurate BOM breakdown that puts the total cost of production at $131.

The most damning evidence comes from screenshots of the final board design. These pics have since been removed from the Kickstarter page, but they’re still available on the Google cache. The SOAP team claims they’re putting USB 3.0 ports on their board, but the pics clearly show only four pins on each of the USB ports. USB 3.0 requires nine pins. A closer inspection reveals these screenshots are from the files for Novena, [Bunnie Huang]’s open source laptop.

In fact, all the mainboard pictures deleted from the Kickstarter page can be reproduced by downloading a few files from the Novena site. For example:

router 1

router2

There’s a fairly convincing argument to be had that the SOAP hardware doesn’t exist. At the very least, the SOAP team is trying to Kickstart hardware without a prototype, something against the Kickstarter ToS. At worst, this is a complete scam.

In the interest of fairness, I will offer the SOAP team a chance to redeem themselves. Even though they won’t send any developmental prototypes to review sites, I’m willing to put up $500 of my own money to rent the current version. The deal is simple: send me whatever custom hardware you have, I’ll send it back in two days along with a check for $500. This price includes a, ‘this is not a scam’ post.

I would be willing to try out [Bunnie]’s laptop at that price, anyway.

Update

The SOAP guys posted an update showing off their board. It’s not [Bunnie]’s laptop, and at first glance, appears to have all the ports they’re claiming.

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139 thoughts on “SOAP: The Home Automation Router And Kickstarter Scam

  1. Definitely smells like a scam, people should all get their money back though right?

    I’m amazed they basically used the exact screenshots of bunnies laptop to, it’s so damn obvious.

    1. To be fair, *I* made those screenshots from the Novena STEP files to match the SOAP screenshots.

      STEP file wasn’t edited, just moved around and cropped into something that looked like their shots.

      1. Brian, when all you have to do is move the model and crop the image and the components are all still in the same place I really don’t think there is any excuse on their part. It appears that the above images (at least) did not originate from anything they have.

        1. Yeah, all they did was add a little bit of extra details and change the board color.
          I’m surprised they haven’t gotten a lawsuit yet.

      2. Brian, since we are on the topic of crowd funding scams, can you possibly bring to attention the Mu Optics fiasco? They took over $280k, and indigogo refuses to do anything about it. Check out the comments on the indigogo project page, or the forum thread created here: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/

        I feel that more attention needs to be brought to this so indigogo will get off there ass and do something about it.

        1. Wow, I forgot about that, they haven’t put out an update in a while. I backed that, but I eventually got my money back (way way after the campaign ended, I just had to ask for a refund). Glad I was able to get my money back.

        2. I don’t know what is worse, fake updates or no updates. Mu Optics at least is smart enough to provide no communication, which gives us the benefit of being able to hope. The “updates” from SOAP are scary. I hope Mu Optics pulls through, their product at least has few (albeit large) competitors so if it makes it to market it should succeed.

          1. Holy crap, I just read all those updates, some of them sound like they were written by a 12 year old Japanese girl. Soap just loves the cuddlebunnyfish, so today we are going stretch goal crazy and issuing like 30,000 dollars worth of stuff for less than 200 Gs backed. Anybody who read through all that and didn’t immediately cancel their funding may be beyond all help.

      3. The whole point of open source is that others are allowed to copy and reuse the designs as long as they comply with the license. I haven’t looked into it any more than that but the fact that they copied Bunny’s design is not enough in itself to conclude it is a scam. I’m not saying it it not one though, judging by Kickstarter’s track record is it more likely than not.

        1. Totally agree. If I were designing an IMX6 board, I’d probably start with Bunny’s Altium Design files, too, and modify them to suit my needs. The designs are not identical — clearly, there are differences (the SOAP board has additional headers — probably for debugging — that Bunnie’s laptop board doesn’t have). This implies that they at least got a copy of Altium, opened up the design files, and made changes to the PCB document. I can’t speak to whether or not the project is a scam — perhaps it’s just so early in its infancy that they haven’t designed a production board yet. That’s really scary (since a lot of projects fail miserably when they move into production), but it doesn’t necessarily indicate a scam — maybe just a lack of ability on the developers to execute?

          1. Novena does have debug headers. There’s an unpopulated JTAG header under the PCIe slot, and the FPGA has a separate JTAG header next to it. The Senoko battery board has its own JTAG header, but that’s a separate project.

    2. I agree that this smells like a scam, so I clicked on the “Report this project to Kickstarter.” I strongly encourage everyone else who also thinks this may be a scam should also report it to Kickstarter.

    3. Kickstarter would provide no refunds at all if the funding goes through. In the TOS refunds are purely between the project owner and the backers. There have been a number of projects that have “vaporized” after the money and the backers have been left with nothing (usually not even an apology). Kickstarter’s response is “It is between the project owner and backers, so they have no involvement. Project owners are required to fulfill their obligations or provide a refund if those obligations are not met.” However there is no mechanism for that and not all owners can/will provide refunds after the project dies (or was a scam to begin with). Backers could get a lawyer… but so far everyone that has looked at this has found that honest lawyers generally will not touch it because they will admit it is not worth the time/money to take it to court in almost all cases. You would be looking at thousands of dollars generally to start litigating for something that MIGHT get you your refund. However the additional problem there is that some of these owners are not in your own country and some declare bankruptcy (and those would be examples of more legit cases).

  2. Looking at the kickstarter page, it seems they have spent more time on designing and prototyping the case than actually designing the hardware that will go in it. Much like the MuOptics thermal imaging camera which also turned out to be a failure; over a year later the only hardware MuOptics has to show is a few 3D printed cases.

    1. Is it not common for marketing purposes to ‘shop in the software interface for clarity? On it’s own I don’t find this suspicious.

      1. The entire thing appears to be heavily edited and created purely in a photo editing tool instead of actually existing.

      1. FotoForensics?
        They use computers to tell you if things are shopped, it can tell from some of the pixels, and from seeing other photoshopped things in it’s time.

        1. In practice it just re-compresses the file and compares it to the original to see if anything is changed under the theory that the generational loss would reveal which parts are shopped or not.

          In reality it doesn’t actually mean anything.

          1. That’s not really all that it does. It identifies existing artifacts and artifact mismatches. Unfortunately it only works if the source image was made from images that had different levels of lossy compression.

            However, when you CAN see the signs, it’s really reliable. False positives are extremely unlikely, but it could easily miss ‘shopped images.

    2. I’m not sure what is being demonstrated by the FotoForensics links. The point of error level analysis is to show areas of an image that have edited. It does this by pointing out areas where visually the image is uniform (such as a colored wall or clear sky) but have non-uniform areas. What these links show is exactly what you would expect– whenever there is a non-uniform part of the image (such as the edge of the Android device or the text on the screen, you see blockyness. That’s exactly what you expect and it’s exactly what you’ll see on *any* image where there is a sharp transition.

      This whole SOAP thing looks like a scam, but the links to FotoForensics show nothing.

  3. Shame on that mess.
    I hope they get what’s coming to them for such an amateurish attempt at scamming.

  4. Kickstarter didn’t do anything when I told them that HarvestGeek was run by a sociopathic scammer (Mike Alt) who would never deliver any rewards and was just doing this to monitor/fund his (illegal, though it shouldn’t be) marijuana grow op. It’s been over a year since deliverables were due. They don’t care. The guy isn’t a software developer and had to learn Ruby AFTER the Kickstarter actually got funded. He’s now supposedly “looking” for an inexpensive web developer. He also promised to release the project open source and nothing has come of that either.

    It’s none of Kickstarter’s concern if a project doesn’t deliver, as long as they get their cut of the money. Maybe if the community makes enough fuss about this something will be done, but even when told precisely what would happen from someone who knows the kind of scam artist a project founder is, they didn’t care.

    1. You can technically get your Kickstarter funded, and at that point the money is your, as long as all rewards are fulfilled. That is actually the only legal obligation, and even that has loop holes. If you put a hard date such as, shipped April 2014. Then after that date any backer can get there money back.

      If it’s an estimated ship date, then basically you are screwed. Because it’s an estimation, and as long as the person can say they are working on it, and can “prove” they are then you have no legal options.

      Gotta love the fine print. https://ksr-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/creator-responsibility.png

      Note, your only obligation is the rewards. So always read the rewards carefully when you choose to back.

      1. That’s also not the case… Read the kickstarter contract better next time… You are DONATING to a project and NOT purchasing something… When you purchase something, you have a right to the product… When you donate, any and all rewards, are ENTIRELY OPTIONAL… That being said, if they had no plans on delivering anything from the beginning, then yes that’s a scam… If they tried and failed however, then see above, you have no legal right to any money back in such a case exactly because it’s not a purchase…

        1. Actually the TOS state that the project creator IS required to meet the obligations made to the backers or provide a refund if they are unable to.
          “Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.”
          Terms of Use

          I agree that you are not purchasing something but you are making a contractual agreement with the project creator to fund their project in return for something depending on the reward you selected. Rewards are not optional.

    2. That’s all Kickstarter cares about. The two glaring loopholes that there is with kickstarter is.

      1. Rewards are your only legal obligation. A lot of Kickstarter rewards can be done without ever completing the product. That’s typically a big tip off if it’s a scam or not.

      2. Estimated Delivery dates. As long as the guy can say he is working towards the product and it’s just delayed, you have no legal grounds because it was estimated.

      I try never to back any kickstarter that doesn’t have the final product as a reward, or has all estimated delivery dates.

    1. Please report back!:) I checked back in january, any news?
      Oh, no my evening will be also spent browsing through wiki history, and reading back twitter log.

      1. Supposedly they’ve shipped units, but I haven’t seen any reviews or pictures in the wild.

        My ship date has been updated to May, and at this point I haven’t requested a refund simply to see if anything ever *does* ship. But I’m not keeping my hopes up.

        1. Fuck this company, if it ever does ship, I’ll keep it, but if I ever meet that asshole with the fucked up teeth I’ll punch him in the head.

          How stupid do they think we are?

  5. Well, i guess that at $ 1 billion spend on Kickstarter projects, every now and then something like this will happen.

      1. This is why they started making the rules about needing actual prototype pictures, and not allowing renders.

        It’s much harder to handle after the project has the money.

  6. Bunnie is showing the STEPs that Altium renders in FreeCAD…

    All they did was read in Bunnie’s Altium design files, and screen cap directly from Altium’s renderer, that’s why there is more detail. Anyone that has used Altium’s STEP export in conjunction with FreeCAD knows this…

    They are full of it. Your better off investing in bitcoin.

  7. Why trust a video presentation in which the author(s) don’t show and present themselves. 3 guys from Colorado? What is their names. No website with their photos or anything. The supposedly “full bio” on Kickstarter says nothing! I would’nt trust any Kickstarter campain without knowning about the person(s) behind it.
    Kickstarter should be liable for any scam.

    1. I agree if someone is not going to show their face, they should not be using a crowded funding platform. If it was a large monolith corporation selling a finished product, not using a human face is expected. But when asking for funding on a project that might fail, in this case it is clear that it will succeed in one thing, scamming people if KS do not block it in the next 15 days.

    1. They actually had prototypes, just sucked at getting mass production done.
      You’d have thought they learned their lessons after the OpenPandora, but then these are the guys behind the OpenPandora.

      I’ve no doubt that if people had been patient, it *would* have been finished, and all backers would have eventually received the product. They were rather close to release, but rushed board batches due to the pressure of hundreds of irate backers pushed them over the edge financially.
      Everyone seems to forget that Kickstart isn’t a pre-order system. You’re investing in a product or idea, and shit does indeed happen. Irate backers cause unnecessary stress, and thousands of them can cause serious psychological pressure on people.
      I’m confident that if everyone had chilled out, we’d all have iControlpad2s in our hands right now, and it’d be fantastic.
      IMO, they should sell the designs to someone else, and use that toward reimbursing the backers. It’s not like there isn’t a demand for the product – the successful funding of the kickstarter shows that there quite definitely is.

      1. “I’ve no doubt that if people had been patient, it *would* have been finished”
        That is 100% BS, there are still 100s of people that haven’t gotten their Pandora! it’s been how many years now? Most of them are the Original pre-orders members too have been very patient from day one.

        1. That doesn’t change my statement. The Pandora was eventually finished, and there are quite a few in the wild.
          Un-fulfilled pre-orders is a problem, but a different one.

          The iControlPad2 is also a far less complex product than the OpenPandora was. It’s just a controller, not an entire console. The chances of it coming out and working as intended were high.

          I definitely see problems in their production methods, but the community was way too quick to jump on their backs and start hammering away.

          I backed it. It was a risk I believed in, and it didn’t pan out. My ire is not directed entirely at them, but mostly at the other backers that I feel were not understanding in the least, plagued the backer comments with unbridled rage and claims of scam and scandal. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy, and now they can all sit back and say “I told you so”.
          I don’t ever expect to see my $70 back, but the ultimate fault is my own for taking the risk.
          I don’t even want my money back. I want the iCP2. I blame the other backers for demanding their money back, and bringing the project to a screeching halt. The team was using their own money to finish the production, but instead of actually releasing a product they have to pay us all back. This is the worst thing that could have happened, in my opinion.

          If another company buys the design and produces it, I’ll buy it from them, and be content.

          Was it a failed Kickstarter? Yes.
          Was it a scam? No.

          1. Sounds like you weren’t paying close enough attention to behind the scenes of iCP2 or Pandora. And when someone says “Finished” kickstarter most people do not think of the product being finished, but “Finished” says all the people who paid money to obtain one.

            Here are examples of why this project would never have gotten “Finished” where all backers would have gotten units.
            Some of the iCP2 funds were pulled to be used on the Pandora.
            iCP2 funds were used to pay for random things like 3D printer.
            Pandora funds to pay owner salary, helped pay for things like EV Leaf, same happened to iCP2.
            Pandora funds were helped kickstart iCP1 which should have stayed to help fulfill Pandora orders. So the likely do the same with iCP2 funds to help kickstart something else.

  8. What strikes me as overkill is 32GB of storage. Does home automation really need that much? If there’s nothing wrong after a month of collecting data, just keep enough for statistics and throw the rest away. This is beside the point of the Kickstarter scam, but just saying it.

    1. what? you don’t need to store 446 years worth of every 15s sampled data (assuming 32 byte chunks, and 4gb for the os..)?

  9. The only way Kickstarter will get better is if they are found liable because of lack of due diligence …

    1. It’s up to the buyer to do due diligence and it is also the buyer’s choice to take a risk. Blaming the New York Stock Exchange for losses in a scam is a worthless pursuit. Blaming kickstarter for scam offers on their open platform is as or more worthless.

      1. If there was any justice in the world the stock exchanges and clearing houses around the world would be sued for unnecessarily perpetuating a system which allows phantom stock.

        Regardless, Kickstarter has guidelines for projects … if they knowingly allow projects through which don’t meet those guidelines for profit motives they are guilty of false advertising at the very least.

    1. Lets not all turn into cowards, he said it was shaping up to be a scam … and the scam in the title just refers to the images. I hope those images are a scam, because if they are not clearly the logical cohesion of the universe is disappearing.

    2. No he isn’t. This isn’t Europe. Libel requires proof that the party that wrote something disparaging knew it was untrue and requires proof that those remarks caused monetary damage. Both are nearly impossible hurdles to get over, thus why libel cases are very rare and generally thrown out when they come up.

      1. slightly off topic but over here in the UK its the americans that have a reputation for libel cases.

        Regardless I dont think this constitutes one considering the author clearly states that if he can be proven wrong he would retract the accusation.

          1. We blame the Americans for everything that’s left over after we’ve finished blaming the French!

        1. reputation doesnt have anything to do with it.
          In UK you can be sued for libel and lose EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT AND FACTUAL. Its enough for your statement to harm somebodys name and BAM you automagically lost.
          basically a priest can win against you even if you present a home movie with him and a soccer team of naked 10 year old boys. UK is all about empowering rich and powerful.

          1. There have been cases where scientists have been sued for saying another scientists is wrong, even when he has proof.

  10. http://forums.wandboard.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=270

    A little digging seems to suggest that less than two months ago they were struggling to connect the screen to their board

    “I am a software developer and no expert with hardware but can generally learn as I go”

    This comment in particular paints a picture of outstanding technical competence, and with that in mind it seems only reasonable to completely and wholly trust them

    1. There is no shame in learning on the way. Especially if the learning on the way in that case is prior to the Kickstarter.

      I am working with a team who just had a successful Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2frededmonster/foobler-a-smarter-puzzle-feeder-for-your-dog), these are people who all have multiple product launches under their belt; but even they had to learn new things for this project.

      Leaning as you go isn’t the problem, overselling what you have done is.

      1. The quote I used may have confused my intended meaning a little, I meant to highlight the fact that while the kickstarter claims the team has extensive experience, they don’t seem to actually have much experience with anything they’re doing.

        I agree that having to learn new things for a project isn’t an issue, in fact I see very little point in starting a project at all if you’re not going to learn something new. But looking at the project so far I get the impression that in order to complete this they would be learning everything.

        From what I can see, they’ve grabbed a board, struggled to attach a screen to it, and written a small interface. And now they’re calling it a router. A process which they have themselves referred to as “developing the hardware”.

        I also have to say I found “ninja mode” and “flypaper security” particularly telling, and would love to see how they plan to dive into page contents and remove ads whilst maintaining top speeds.

        1. Apologies for misinterpreting that.

          Honestly were I in their position I would rebrand one of the inexpensive ASOP Android Tablets and make a hardware interface using the ADK, and put all that in a custom case.

          They are overselling themselves on the hardware, but I am more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the software. I think it is far too easy to get hung up on the idea that a product needs all bespoke hardware.

          1. The thing that lacks all credibility in my eyes is the development time-scales chart. That alone indicates either a complete failure to grasp reality or their just making it up to impress those that don’t know any better. The software development alone could (and should) run more in parallel with some of the other tasks, unless they’re a one-man effort, in which case it doesn’t look good for the backers either.

      2. There is no shame in learning as you go for a hobby. There is shame (or should be) in learning as you go when you’re taking money for a product that you know full well that you aren’t capable of delivering unless you learn how to do it all along the way. A software programmer should not be offering hardware if they have no experience in the field.

  11. The crowd funding sites are filled with scammers. Also, it’s a shame to see these major sites do so little to discourage these scammers because their is some legitimate good that comes from crowd sourced funding.

  12. Their comments about the Beaglebone White vs Beaglebone Black were especially telling. First off the Black is the same size as the White but they called it smaller. Then they said the Black “offered ample speed, its support and connectivity just couldn’t match what its predecessor had to offer.” To me that reads like they were only using off the shelf capes, and didn’t understand the platform well at all.

    That’s fine, no shame in using off the shelf components, but, again to me, seems like yet more evidence that they are trying to oversell their abilities.

  13. I have always wanted to start a kickstarter for a few CNC related products made from wood. But I want to be sure as it gets that I can deliver! I’m surprised these guys didn’t have some older farts that they could ask for guidance.

    1. If this reddit comment don’t convince backers nothing will. They can say bye bye to their money unless they ask for a refund right now. By the way with such evidences if Kickstarter doesn’t remove the project from their site and refund backers they should be liable for that scam.

    1. The processor they claim to use is the “Freescale i.MX6 Quad Cortex A9 Quad-core processor”. Now this processor (http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX6Q) only supports 1 Gbps ethernet port.

      And in the erata sheet for this chip there is an interesting section:
      (http://cache.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/errata/IMX6DQCE.pdf)
      “ERR004512 ENET: 1 Gb Ethernet MAC (ENET) system limitation
      Description:
      The theoretical maximum performance of 1 Gbps ENET is limited to 470 Mbps (total for Tx and Rx). The actual measured performance in an optimized environment is up to 400 Mbps.

      Projected Impact:
      Minor. Limitation of ENET throughput to around 400 Mbps. ENET remains fully compatible to 1Gb standard in terms of
      protocol and physic al signaling. If the TX and RX peak data rate is higher than 400 Mbps, there is a risk of ENET RX FIFO overrun.

      Workarounds:
      There is no workaround for the throughput limitation. To prevent overrun of the ENET RX FIFO, enable pause frame.

      Proposed Solution:
      No fix scheduled
      Linux BSP Status:
      No software workaround available”

      So straight away this device doing anything more than 400Mbps is vaporware.

  14. Hmmm… Perhaps it’s just my pessimistic view of the world, but I’ve always viewed a Kickstarter as either a charity kind of thing, or at best a chance at winning a low value lottery. It has a better chance than a large lottery, but the payout’s small…

    Anyway, I’m thinking anything past this is just buy stock in a real company. After all, if they had a good product and expert people, they could probably get enough VC to fund their project unless it’s simple thing like yet another pasta strainer. If your ROI is the actual product, you’re doing it wrong.

    If everyone took this approach, you’d either be mildly disappointed at their failure to produce, and/or force them to do a much better plan of attack before being underwritten.

    1. I agree, kickstarter is like buying tickets on a charity basket, sure you might get something cool but chances are you are just giving away your money. Actually with the charity basket you can a nice warm feeling, people should just buy tickets on the charity baskets…

      1. Over 99.9% of kickstarters have delivered exactly what they promised, at worst a little later than they originally predicted. In fact there are only a couple cases where they simply didn’t ever deliver.

  15. No hardware/software engineer in the world would “prototype” with that many different platforms. Are you kidding me? These guys are jokers. I should quit my job and just make ridiculous Kickstarter programs. Looks like it pays well.

  16. I like the part where it says in the FAQ section about warranty: “Does not cover dropping of SOAP”. LOL So when they “F” you in the arse they aren’t liable? :\

  17. I wish there was a way to push (force) older projects to cough up their products:

    How many months do we have to wait before we get what was promised !?!

    1. Judging by the comments, three months.

      Funded in September, started shipping in December. Seems reasonable to me.

      1. He says he is shipping, but I for one have received nothing but empty promises.

        I have tried to contact others on that Kiskstarter, but no one has come forward to say they have received anything as well.
        .

        1. Plenty of people in the comments seems to have them.

          Claimed 93% shipped in Jan, and 98% in Feb (slowed a bit by Chinese New Year).

          Maybe you’re one of the lucky 2%.

  18. i would like to point out that the on the kickstarter page in the static image of of the latest update video, in the background is a painting of a mormon temple. the salt lake city temple. I would submit that this team has at least one mormon in it, and i know that most mormons are trustworthy people.

    just my opinion of course.

  19. Here’s another thing – why the name SOAP? It’s so unoriginal. SOAP in other areas stands for Simple Object Access Protocol (a computer network protocol) and Structured Outpatient Addiction Program in Massachusetts, plus the usual cleaning bar and other names.

    1. its because they will use SOAP to wash their hands clean of the scam or alternatively use it as lubricant while effing the donors

  20. I like the new render.

    – No screwing holes for the mPci-e board. (and btw, why would you add a mPci-e slot on a “low-cost” project ?)
    – The sata connector will blow up the dimensions they claim. (still, why would you add an hdd when you have a sdcard port ?)

  21. While the new update makes it clear it’s not a direct copy of Bunnie’s laptop, it also doesn’t match the previous screenshots they posted of their own project, which personally has too many echos of “oh crap, we got caught” to do anything other than make it even more concerning

    1. Plus the photos could just be an android tablet stuck to a 3D printed model of what the initial concepts were with some mock ups being shown. Without actual video footage of it in progress it’s difficult to see it as evidence of a “prototype”

      1. Yes, the first “functionnal protype” is actually an android tablet + a 3d printed case. It has been showned on updates. But, there is no actual videos of any working software, and god knows how easy it is to display a picture on android systems.

    1. The link of the board is not correct go at bottom of page and click on left photo of SDK-BOARD
      This is the board they hide under the tablet.

        1. Not the same board the one you point to has 2 DB-9 connector aside de power jack in their video demo tere is only one. And the border around the screen is wider on one side in the video and same on 4 edges on the photo.

          1. Scrolling down the page I saw that you’re right there is 2 model this the one at bottom photo.

        1. Nevermind, I was looking at the top board of the video.
          The board of the tablet is actually the one you where referring at.
          Nice find.

  22. The largest footprint I see on this board is for a QFN-44 the i.MX6/Quad they are supposedly using is a big IC that is available only in BGA format.
    I don’t see anything that look like that on this PCB rendering!!!
    No IC comming in QFN-44 can fullfill the project requirements.
    And you know what to design a PCB to hold a BGA like i.MX6/Quad need a professionnal not an improvised engineer. It would need a multilayer PCB.

    The more they do the more it look like a scam.

  23. “2x USB 3.0 Real world, clocked speeds at Avg 80 mgs per Sec for NAS” — lolwut?

    I also like how they show all of the boards they used to “prototype” then never actually show their final board at all….

  24. Not to point any fingers here but their pics looks awesomely similar to this device:
    Its not the same but pretty close. I bet if someone looks around a bit could locate the exact same one. I would assume they could buy these with the truckload at a bulk discount and send them to the backers so effectively not performing a scam in the sense of stealing the money and providing nothing in return.

    http://dx.com/p/s5pv210-android-4-0-cortex-a8-7-capacitive-touch-screen-development-board-black-226382

    1. I already did. It is the FriendlyARM Tiny4412SDK-1308-S700. The August 2013 version is important. That version you linked to is the December 2013 version.

  25. Is it just me, or are the minor components (resistors/caps) spaced waaaay too even and uniformly?
    I have never seen a pcb with such perfect parts placement.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for us all to be wrong and have a choice of router I can have total control over with a killer interface, but the feature-set, price and capabilities of this thing simply do not match up.

    And as a daily user of an Arduino, I would NEVER think to use it as a prototype for a custom router… I would start with something like the PCduino that can at least run Linux and has two network interfaces on an ARM chip.

    1. The rendering looks like a basic placement rather than a real-world layout. I always used to start my PCB layouts (20 years ago) with very even spacing, and then nudge the parts as needed during the track layout stages.

  26. I thought I’d look at Kicktraq to see how much of a dip they took from people getting refunds after these stories. Doesn’t seem to be any dip. In fact, they seem to have a steady rise, where most kickstarters have a plateau mid-campaign. I guess there really is no such thing as bad publicity.

  27. Now they are claiming to be working with an engineering firm. (That was never previously mentioned in the team section) Posted a new render that looks like it could just be a space study. Not a single test point – are they on the backside? Is this board even routed?

    Still no actual board. I still don’t see a working prototype. I only see smoke and mirrors. A dev board is not a hardware prototype! They have no prototype, plain and simple.

    The specs claim 4x GigE ports. As someone else said, iMX6 Quad only has one MAC as far as I can tell, so not sure how they’re going to get 3 additional Ethernet connections hooked up and even then, the one working port is crippled to 400 Mbps.
    So maybe they’ll hook up some GigE PHY+MACs to the PCIe bus somehow? And then write device drivers? And test it all? Wow. Much development time. Such bullshit.

    Shipping early units in June? Seems like something like this should have been ironed out in the … you know… working prototype?

    This thing might eventually get made. It might ship. It might not be an outright scam, maybe just a case of mis/lack of project management. I’d still be weary of it. I have a very little confidence about this project. It really seems like they created a nice little story, how they went through so many prototypes (…and btw that still gets me…you start with an 8bit AVR and end up with a 32bit ARM with 4x GigE???) and promised a bunch of nice sounding features (every radio under the sun) to get a boatload of money upfront (and possibly use zero of their own money), and now are trying to make it seem like they had their heads on straight from the get go.

    The mere fact they portrayed bunnie’s board as their own speaks volumes for their integrity! I mean, come on!

    Someone should ask them what their manufacturing test plan is. This is going to be a commercial product, yes? I mean, most of the rewards are for $$ off the retail price. So you better hope they have a good test and verification plan for commercial hardware if they plan on shipping lots of units and actually honoring the supposed 2 year warranty…

    Has their prototype passed FCC/CE/UL certs? If not, when do they plan on testing for that?

    Have they sourced all the components required for the proto-run? Will there be any surprise 12-14 week lead time parts?

      1. I have to admit, I didn’t realise Droidifi did not deliver on their promise/product after kickstarter ended. I’ll have to recheck and make my own conclusions, lest I fall under the hivemind mentality.

        Having said that, I’m standing by what I’m saying – I don’t think this is a scam. I think that the creators are people who are way in over their heads due to a lot of overpromising. I’m currently at a juncture where I will have to soon decide whether to pull out of the project or not. The creators are just not convincing enough to deliver me a final product that I exepct.

  28. What is really stupid is the fact that with $142,112 they already have overfunded their goal.
    So why go another round on IGG?

    It’s a scam for sure!

  29. They’re now offering CDMA connectivity on the router? Aside from Verizon, are there any large CMDA carriers anymore? Does Verizon even allow non-Verizon branded devices on their network? I know they refused to allow it when I used them.

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