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Crowdsourcing Innovation: Fabiano Alfredo Zamuner, CEO of Exetech

Crowdfunding sites are offering a new path for inventors with original ideas. We talk to inventors looking to gain the public’s favour...

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 Name:
Fabiano Alfredo Zamuner

 Job title: CEO

 Organisation: Exetech

 Location: London (UK) – Turin (IT)

 


Product: XS-4 Smartwatch

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What it does & how it works:

The XS-4 is the second generation Smartwatch by EXETECH. It is a standalone device characterized by a great deal of innovations and interesting technical solutions.

What makes it special?

4G LTE, Waterproof IP 67, Android 4.4, Solar Charge, 48 hours stand-by, GPS, Camera 5.0 MP, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

What’s your background, and what inspired you to come up with the idea?

I am a Project Manager and an Intrepreneur.  In 2012, a period in which almost no one was still talking about wearable technologies, I perceived that the time had come to introduce new concepts in the sector of mobile connectivity.

After some months spent in studying the market of ICT and the related trends, I decided  to finance the preliminary studies for creating a stand-alone Smartwatch powered by the Android Operating System. After defining the feasibility of the project, Exetech was set-up in April 2012, and the staff that would have taken part into this highly demanding project was acquired. 

The project has been financed in part (90%) with funds of my own, in part (10%) with a crowdfunding campaign launched in September 2013. The XS-3 has been on the market since December 2013 and now we are working on the new model, the XS-4, that will come out in November 2014.

Why Kickstarter?

In my experience, to set up a successful crowdfunding campaign, the quality of the project is important as much as the quality of the platform in which the project is presented. It is very important that the platform have a big audience of its own, because the project in itself may be not enough to raise the attention. And Kickstarter is the most known and visited crowdfunding website all over the world.

Is Crowdfunding good for innovation? How so?

It is a help. But in my experience, traditional financing methods are still indispensable if the target is to create not just a single project but a solid and reliable company. In Exetech we are trying to use crowdfunding to get finance for the innovation, while we use traditional finance for the management of all the other aspects of the company.

Reactions on KS so far?

The first week of our campaign has been successful, we have already reached and exceeded our target. The merit is 100% of the visibility that Kickstarter has.

What have you learned from your campaign?

After some requests by backers and interested people we are considering the possibility to increase the internal storage memory of the XS-4 from 2 to 4 GB. 

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The smartwatch market is becoming increasingly populated, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition and compete with the likes of Samsung?

Our path toward differentiation is probably the most difficult and demanding one: our milestone is innovation. We aim to introduce on the market, year by year, something that is always a little more advanced than the competitors. For example, in the XS-4, we will introduce the solar charge and we will adopt an “octa core” processor that reduces the consumption of battery an average 45%.

Beecham Research recently said Wearable Tech needs to collaborate with the fashion industry more in order to really take off – what do you think?

Fashion and design are other weapons that a small company can use to create differentiation and so to try to create their own market niche. Surely in a watch the design is much more important than in smartphones or similar devices. We have invested a lot in the design of the XS-3 and of the XS-4, even if at this step it is not technically possible to reduce over a certain limit the dimensions and this issue can affect in some way the final result.

Where do you see wearable tech going in 2014 and beyond?

In the next few years the market of the smartwatches, smart glasses and smart clothes will surely explode. Wearable technologies will become a part of our daily life. But let me try to guess the remote future...I think that before 2025 it will be possible to introduce into the market the first wearable devices to be implanted under skin.

Possible business use/advantage?

During the last two years I had many contacts with companies and engineers that, like us, are looking for innovation. And, from the telemedicine to the management of the risks, from gesture recognition to the internet of things, to the domotic (just to mention the main fields of application), I can say that certainly smartwatches will play a leading role in this evolution process.

Aims for the future?

I hope to be able to consolidate my Company and to create a little market niche for my brand EXETECH.

 

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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