Boulder & SF-based startup Occipital is probably still best known for its Red Laser and 360Panorama apps, but it confirmed today that it raised over $1 million on Kickstarter to bring its Structure 3D sensor to market.
The Structure isn’t just any 3D sensor though. It’s an incredibly small one – so small, in fact, that it can onto the back of your iPad (note: it’s compatible with any iOS device with a Lightning port) and connect without completely killing your battery life. While run-of-the-mill users can use the Structure and its early batch of companion apps to scan objects for printing at Shapeways or to fling balls for virtual kittens to chase around the 3D representation of a room, Occipital was really gunning to pick up developer support this time.
It’s certainly a nice little show of financial validation for the team, especially considering this is their first big foray into consumer-facing hardware and the fact that they didn’t exactly need the cash in the first place. At the time, CEO Jeff Powers remarked to me that since the company still had money left over from its previous funding round, the Kickstarter was meant in large part to be a marketing tool that would help gauge the demand for its curious gadget. The team originally set out to raise $100,000 when the campaign officially kicked off in mid-September, and early momentum put the project over the top in just three hours.
But could the project’s popularity ultimately prove to be detrimental? After all, I can think of a few projects that ultimately took flak because overwhelming demand outweighed the producers’ ability to deliver on what they promised. For now though, the team remains positive about its chances at delivering the Structure to 3D-hungry developers and tinkerers – to hear Occipital marketing director Adam Rodnitsky tell it, this current level of demand won’t affect shipping schedules “at all”.
“We put a lot of effort into setting up our supply chain well in advance to make sure we could deliver on what we promised to backers,” he said in an email. “We’re ready to meet this demand… and hopefully much more.”
In case you haven’t been keeping tabs on the Structure’s voyage from curious concept to crowdfunding darling, you can check out our interview with CEO Powers and demo of the Structure in action below.