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Why Amazon has a big opportunity in product crowdfunding

Gigaom

Crowdfunding has helped to bring us some of the most avant garde devices of the past few years. Some, such as the Oculus Rift, Pebble smartwatch and Hidden Radio, have helped to jumpstart whole new categories. And more categories may be pioneered by products such as the Narrative Clip (formerly Memoto), Dash smart headphones, Melon brain-training headband, Ubi home intelligent agent, Romo smartphone-driven robot, Canary security system, and Galileo remote conferencing accessory.

But this method of bringing products to market has been fraught with challenges. Not surprisingly for those who have navigated the rough waters of device development, many products listed above — such as the Pebble, Clip, Ubi and Galileo — missed their estimated original shipping windows. Indeed, many high-profile crowdfunded tech gadgets — such as the AGENT smartwatch (over a million dollars raised in June 2013), the ultra-thin CST-01 e-paper watch (over a million dollars…

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