The Pear (now [email protected]) Bluetooth adapter is something as simple as a female 30 pin dock connector and a Bluetooth audio receiver put together. You stick the adapter onto a 30 pin-equipped dock, pair with any Bluetooth audio capable device, and suddenly that Apple-only speaker dock isn’t as Apple-only anymore. It originally launched on Kickstarter this summer, but was removed due to a copyright issue with the name. The company behind it promised that it would be back, and wield a MFI (Made For iPad/iPhone) certificate when it did. Apple has now denied MFI certification for the [email protected] due to the nature of the product, and that also effectively leaves the product for dead, according to the team behind it.
Personally, I’m glad it’s dead. Why? Because this is nothing new. Whatsoever. Heck, I looked at such an adapter in a brick and mortar store yesterday. I even tweeted a picture of what I found to be an amusing user manual on the back. Before that, I ran across this one a few days ago. These things are so freaking common that you basically can’t avoid them, as they’re available from so many brands in so many places – and have been for years. Why on Earth do we need another one?
One of the big problems of Kickstarter is ignorance. Consumers who have no clue what’s already available blindly pledge money to “revolutionary” projects that simply “forget” to mention that such a product already exists. That often leave people waiting months to receive a product that they could have walked out the door and found at a local store the day they pledged, and that’s not how it should work. I welcome competition, I don’t welcome products that play on people’s ignorance. Heck, I’ve even had to personally take action to get a project off Kickstarter where someone had taken an existing product, removed the plastic casing, and promoted it as the prototype for a new product – with the user manual of the original product visible in the video! That’s why I think Kickstarter needs to take more drastic measures against copycats, as it makes it way too easy to essentially scam someone. If someone wants to launch a product that’s close to something that exists, there should be full disclosure and a very clear explanation of why we need another one – like extra features, a lower price, or higher quality.
The same issue with ignorance seems to be the case with the [email protected] too. If you google a few articles from when it first launched, you’ll notice that people are amazingly ignorant about this type of product’s existence. Commenters are normally quick to point out the error in this, but some actual articles even go as far as asking why no one has thought of this before. They have! That’s why I’m glad that the [email protected] is dead, as while some people will be disappointed and not realize they can go out and buy something similar right now, at least it will prevent a company getting rich on using a crowdfunding site to promote a product that has existed for years.