Is there any promise less trustworthy than a Kickstarter promise? Crowdfunding campaigns intentionally paint a pretty picture to attract your dollars, but sadly those promises often go unfulfilled, literally (looking at you Rite Press and iGulu).
With that in mind, I’m casting a bit of the ole’ side eye at the NEOVEN, a product now on Kickstarter that promises to be a portable oven to heat your lunch, as well as a fridge and smoothie mixer and kettle.
The NEOVEN has two main compartments: a larger one for holding a food container and heating it, and a secondary one to hold a smaller container of food, or in which to plug in modules like the mixer, kettle and cooling unit. The heating supposedly only takes five minutes and can be controlled via the NEOVEN mobile app.
This is the second heated lunchbox that we’ve written about in as many weeks. The Heatbox also promises to heat up your meal when you’re ready to eat, but it only promises to heat and uses steam to do so. The NEOVEN says it uses a Heta heating element, and it will make smoothies and coffee.
That all sounds great, and I hope they can pull it off. But I’m always leery of Kickstarter devices that try to be so many things. Developing a prototype is one thing but manufacturing something at scale is quite another, and it’s in that leap where so many crowdfunding campaigns go off the rails.
What is interesting is that most of the people commenting on the Kickstarter campaign page aren’t worried about the device not actually coming to market. Instead they’re concerned that it’s made out of plastic. Plastic waste is definitely an issue for the planet, but if it works NEOVEN seems like it could help people use less plastic by eating out less frequently and creating less food waste.
NEOVEN was looking to raise $20,000 and has already hit more than $77,000 in backing with 19 days left in its campaign. Backers can pledge $199 to order a NEOVEN (without any attachments) that is supposed to ship in July of next year.