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Backers of See.Sense bike tracker Kickstarter project still waiting three years on

"Maybe See.Sense has decided to turn this into a long-running joke?" says frustrated backer... but what's really going on?...

After three years of waiting and "backtracking", a reader has told of their frustration at repeat delays with See.Sense's bike tracker Kickstarter. However, speaking to the company insists after pandemic-related delays, changes to the technology used, component shortages and extensive testing, See.Sense will not ship the product until it is right and remains confident it will be well worth the wait.

The reader purchased a bike tracker, starting at an investment pledge of £74, via the pre-order back in February 2020, two months after the Kickstarter project had attracted £80,286 of investment from 858 backers, with work beginning in the hope the finished product would be with customers by June of that year.

"This elegant bike tracker called 'See.Sense.Air' was just the product to discretely track our prize steeds," the reader believed, taken by the device's promised accurate GPS, long battery life, crash alert feature, discreet sizing and claim to be "the most effective bike tracking device available".

Once Covid struck, progress understandably slowed and updates over the next year show the expected delivery date knocked back to the autumn of 2020, then the first quarter of 2021, summer 2021, autumn 2021, March 2022, and most recently November 2022, leaving backers without product or, as things stand, a delivery timeframe.

 "The pandemic struck and See.Sense started backtracking," the reader told us. "Email after email telling pre-order purchasers (and backers through Kickstarter) that the development was taking longer than expected."

See.Sense Air

One such email from September 2021 said shipping would take place in early 2022, another two months later confirming a name change to 'See.Sense.Knowhere' but insisting delivery was still expected in the following months.

Come February 2022 and backers were told "a few elements" need to be finalised and "components with longer lead times offer better performance".

"So if we consider using parts with longer lead times, we can create a better, more energy efficient design. We know you've been waiting a long time for your tracker and so we feel it's only fair that we put the decision of what to do next back to our backer community," See.Sense explained, sending out a survey asking simply, 'How long do you want to wait?'. 

See.Sense backer survey (See.Sense/Kickstarter)

To that question, 78 per cent of the 716 backers who replied said they were happy to wait until the winter of 2022/23 in return for a device with longer battery life and additional mounting options.

"We've had a few emails with general project activity since June but nothing regarding the schedule for manufacturing or delivery," the reader explained.

> Where are they now? 13 of the best, worst and wackiest cycling crowdfunders and what happened to them

"November 2022 has been and gone, their latest communication has no information [regarding delivery timeframe] whatsoever. I contacted See.Sense and was simply told: 'Unfortunately we don't have any clearer info regarding delivery times, but if you wish to amend your order, please let me know here.'

"Maybe See.Sense has decided to turn this into a long-running joke? Maybe that name change to 'Knowhere' is more about the product than we realised."

"We're not ready to ship something until it's right."

Speaking to about the delays, See.Sense acknowledged, "There are obviously a lot of [Kickstarter] projects that don't deliver. We're not one, we've successfully launched multiple projects and delivered to thousands and thousands of backers.

> See.Sense's Beam and ICON2 lights successfully funded on Kickstarter

The Belfast-based company "on a mission to make cycling and micromobility better" has successfully delivered six Kickstarters and one Indiegogo project, receiving £575,000 investment from around 9,000 backers for products such as its Icon light (which received a strong review from us), while the 2.0 light topped the table with 26 per cent of your support in our reader's choice awards


"We certainly understand the backer's frustration," See.Sense said. "It's probably fair to say there is no good cellular bike tracker out there, the road is littered with the failures and underperformance of these products, so something we are very keen to not do is put out something that's sub-par.

"We could easily have shipped a sub-par product by this stage, we've invested significantly more than the money we took on Kickstarter. The initial technology we used, called Narrowband, we felt the network coverage wasn't sufficiently good despite the promises we were given by network operators so we moved to a different technology.

"We also suffered from short supply of lots of different things [during and after the pandemic] and also the fact that testing these products takes time, we can't base it on a quick test if we're going to ship it out to a thousand backers who have expectations around their pride and joy not being stolen and if it is stolen, being able to get it back.

"We're not ready to ship something until it's right. We've surveyed our backers and 80 per cent said 'yes, take longer, by all means we'd much rather have a smaller product that's easier to conceal than a bigger product arrive earlier'.

> REVIEW: See.Sense Icon2 Front And Rear Light Set

"It hasn't been that we've been dictating the timeline, we've given the backers options and we've reported back on what their preferences were and it's guided us on some of the decisions we've made."

 However, the comments from backers on the Kickstarter point to frustration from more than just one individual, with various questions asked throughout the past year about when the finished product will be received and for updates on progress.

And while there are also comments along the lines of one posted two months ago that states a backer is "happy to wait, all your products have been brilliant so far, so I expect the same of this" others, some of which can be seen below, express concerns.

See.Sense Kicksatrter comments (See.Sense/Kickstarter)


"In the three years we've been waiting as I've got older I've gone from a pushbike to a motorbike, but this will work all the same for my motorbike. I'm just hoping we actually get it before I go from a motorbike to a coffin," one backer joked.

See.Sense Kicksatrter comments (See.Sense/Kickstarter)
See.Sense Kicksatrter comments (See.Sense/Kickstarter)


Another this month asked See.Sense to keep backers who "stuck with you through the pandemic" informed, while another at the back end of last year added: "You keep saying one is coming, but it's 'Knowhere' to be seen."

Multiple comments are now unavailable due to backers cancelling their pledge to receive a refund, something See.Sense is willing to do if people feel they have waited too long or their circumstances have changed and they no longer need a device.

Addressing the accusations of poor communication, See.Sense points out the Kickstarter page has sent 24 updates to backers in 30 months since the project launched and regular surveys have sought feedback on key features and issues such as wait times.

And while some have made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion the name change to See.Sense.Knowhere could refer to the yet-to-arrive product, it actually came in December 2021 following a legal challenge by a company outside the cycling industry whose name includes the word 'air'.

See.Sense.Knowhere (See.Sense/Kickstarter)

To avoid confusion, and not wishing to go through a costly legal process See.Sense simply decided to change the product name to See.Sense.Knowhere to avoid confusion. No trolling.

"We are fortunate that it happened before we have ordered our packaging, which helps to minimise the costs of the change," a See.Sense update explained at the time. "Every cloud has a silver lining and in retrospect we are delighted with the new name, as it really does describe the main aim of our product more clearly — 'know where' your bike is at all times." 

So when's the tracker going to be ready?

When pushed for an update on when backers can expect to mount the finished product on their bikes, See.Sense referred only to the update of February 2 and then released another on March 7 — shortly after asked for comment — in which it is stated that work continues, with a new mount and device arriving next week, "which we will be testing rigorously to ensure that it meets our standards".

"We're going to continue to message to customers directly," See.Sense told us, not wishing to put a date on the table. "Those backers should hear it from us first."

In yesterday's update, the company thanked backers for "continued support and patience" and said it hopes that in its next update, in early April "once we've completed testing", it will "discuss our plans for finalising the product design and the timeline for moving to mass production and delivery".

In the meantime that leaves backers, three years on, without a new date. One comment on the Kickstarter update, penned five days ago, summs up the mood of some: "But finally when will this product be available to reach us?"

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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