Why we have chosen to invest in our community

Why we have chosen to invest in our community

Here we are, it’s 2016. In the past months you have not heard from us, and we want to thank you for all the email you sent us, either to ask us when the XTH Sense will be ready to buy (very soon! more on that later next week), or simply to show your support. It is so much appreciated, and we need it!

We have been a bit absent online because it has been an intense period, not only of work, but of reflection too.

We have been actively seeking funding from investors and tech incubators. While we keep receiving enthusiastic feedback and very useful insights from insiders, eventually, our conversations always end up with a clash of values: “Your product is great, but you’re not going to earn increasing profits by making a product only for creatives.”

We can see the point and agree. To our eyes, however, the fundamental assumption is wrong: we are not here to make increasingly high profit margins, and we want don’t want to make only a single product to sell out to a major corporation. Of course, we want to build a sustainable company, yet our vision is more expansive. We want to build a movement and a new medium around a deeper understanding of our relationship to the body and technology. Investors seem not to trust this aspirational goal.

So we have been reflecting upon this, a lot.  We had a kind of existential crisis, and we finally took a decision. We are going back to the roots of the XTH Sense project with renewed energy and more mature ideas. We want to nurture a community that can realize a collective vision for more human-centered and expressive technologies.

We will combine our innovative open hardware with an online platform for creatives and developers working with the body and technology.

This means that in addition to bringing you the new XTH Sense open hardware instrument, access to raw spatial data and biosignals, plugins for 3rd party software, we will also enable you to invent your own uses of the XTH Sense through an online community platform.

It will be a platform where you can share knowledge, review and pitch open source projects with the XTH Sense to a community of professionals from all around the globe. It will also be a platform where you can hire specialized developers for on-demand coding of your perfect XTH Sense experience. And for developers, it will be the place where you can share pieces of code for the XTH Sense and other body technologies, increase your reputation by helping others, and earn money by contributing what your knowledge to someone’s project.

Honestly, at XTH we weren’t feeling authentic dressing in drag as a tech startup. It’s not our cup of tea. Our vision of human body technologies is broader than a margin profit.

Fostering a community is a hard job, but we are up to the task and will now take this challenge head on. We strongly believe that creating an ecosystem for creatives and developers working with the body (artists, performers, musicians, game designers, interaction designers) is critical to transform the field into a movement. A platform to share tools, cross-pollinate ideas and develop common pieces of code and hardware for creative body-machine interaction is currently missing and we are ready to fill this gap, thanks to the insights we gained through your diverse projects with the XTH Sense in the past 4 years.

Starting today, we are going to reach out to the community every week with blog posts for feedback, creative contributions and support, so keep the enthusiasm coming!

Comments are free and open below, so please share your vision of the platform.  Let us know what you want this platform to consist of: the features you would like to see, the look, functionality, anything can help shape it.  You can also reach out to us directly at us@xth.io.

If you are not part of the community or haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, now it is the time!  Let’s galvanize the moment and shape a new medium together!

 

Featured picture modified from an original by Mike McSharry, CC-licensed on Flickr.

 

6 Comments

  1. Guys, these are really good news! A platform is a great idea, we were missing it!

    Reply
    • Thanks Margherita! We very much look forward to build this together and enable creators worldwide!

      Reply
  2. This is the kind of attitude that we must adopt towards technology as it moves towards being an extension of our bodies and not just something we interact with outside of them. We have much to learn about ourselves, and biofeedback technology is here to help us do just that.

    Reply
    • Indeed Thomas, you couldn’t say it better. It’s so important to anticipate this shift of technology into our bodies; and we need to do it in way that can empower people, rather than constraining their ideas and creativity.

      Reply
  3. Really excited to see how this project is progressing. I like the sound of the platform. Gret interview in IEEE Pulse, btw!

    Reply
    • Michael, it’s encouraging to you hear your excitement, we are excited too! Making technology is cool, but making it together is better! 😛

      Reply

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