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Backers of hydration tracking LVL have received a refund offer once again for their Kickstarter pledge. Some had already received their money back in the months prior, others have not.
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It’s a story that seems to have no ending.
To remind, BSX Athletics, an Austin-based wearable sensor company had raised a whopping $1.2 million on Kickstarter to develop the product back in 2016. With a delivery date set for June 2017, what followed were delays and unresponsiveness to comments posted by backers of the project.
The next news came in August 2017, when the outfit announced a $6.75 million Series A financing round led by the Samsung Catalyst Fund. While additional money and support from Samsung added credibility to the project, many expressed dismay at further delays.
The wearable was supposed to be the first of its kind. According to the Kickstarter page, it uses red light technology to measure hydration levels and grab accurate heart rate readings. This technology penetrates 10 times deeper into your body than the green lights commonly found in fitness trackers.
Like many other activity devices, LVL was also supposed to track your activity (steps, distance, floors climbed), calories, sleep, mood and heart rate for a complete picture of your health. So a complete package. In theory…
Acquisition and offer of a refund
But what followed another two years of complete silence, until November 2019. We finally had a new development, and a pretty significant one as far as the LVL Kickstarter backers are concerned.
They were informed by CEO Dustin Freckleton that LVL was acquired by a “stealth-mode healthcare company” called Gideon Health. We’ve never heard of the company but, according to the post the outfit “uses AI, biometrics, and clinical sciences to measure brain and body wellbeing 24/7”.
BSX said they’ve spent the last two years re-designing the hydration tracking wearable to make it a better fit for mass production. Unfortunately they ran out of funding as the Kickstarter cash and additional external financing dried up.
Gideon’s acquisition will supposedly enable LVL Technologies “to build and deliver 10x” what they thought was possible. Unfortunately the post did not offer any specifics about the amount invested or wearable that is being delivered. The really good news, though, came next.
The Gideon team has offered LVL Kickstarter backers two options to choose from. By filling a survey they can opt for a full refund, or a free priority delivery of the new device that is being built. Many of the 7,500+ backers opt for the latter. For good reason. And we thought that put an end to the story. But it didn’t.
Another offer for a refund
Some refunds were issued but that pretty much stopped a few months ago. Once again, the comments on the Kickstarter page started piling in. In case you’re wondering, they’ve grown to over 4,000 in number since the project opened some 5 years ago.
But now we have another update. Here’s the email sent to backers yesterday who opted for a refund some 8 months ago but have not receive it yet.
“We hope this email finds you well and we thank you for your continued support. We understand that a significant amount of time has passed since our last communication and we would like to take immediate action to rectify the situation. We are sincerely sorry we were unable to fulfill your order and will be issuing refunds upon receipt of your email confirmation.” it writes.
“In order to receive your refund, please confirm that the email you provided is associated with a valid PayPal account by logging into Paypal and verifying the account email. Due to the time that has passed we are only able to offer refunds via paypal. Then respond to the following survey…”
Backers will need their order number, email associated with the order, and email associated with a valid PayPal account in order to get their money back. They also need to complete the survey by July 6th. The email comes from BSX Athletics.
This latest development, does inject some hope that one day (hopefully in the not-too-distant future), we might actually see the first hydration tracking wearable. When and if this happens, it will be an industry changing event. We certainly hope the company finally delivers on their vision.
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