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After failing to produce its Kickstarter product, Triggertrap announces closure

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Triggertrap users will be losing app updates and technical support after Tuesday, while the company's failed Kickstarter serves as a reminder that even funded projects don't always see production.

The company that helped make cameras smarter with connected smartphone apps is going out of business — on Tuesday, Triggertrap announced it will be closing after financial struggles that began when the company could not deliver its latest product.

Founded in 2011, Triggertrap is a device that connects cameras with a smartphone app for enhanced functionality. In a letter to supporters, CEO Haje Jan Kamps said that the company has been struggling since the Triggertrap Ada Kickstarter failed over a year ago, despite raising nearly four times the original goal.

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“Ever since our failed Kickstarter campaign, Triggertrap has been struggling,” Kamps wrote. “We’ve gone through several rounds of layoffs to keep the company afloat, but ultimately, ended up being unable to save Triggertrap.”

The Ada, like the company’s earlier products, connected a camera and a smartphone for enhanced functionality, but unlike earlier options, offered a modular design that allowed photographers to add different sensors to trigger shots, from a laser to sound.

While the Kickstarter campaign successfully reached the funding goal, raising nearly $500,000, the company grossly underestimated the cost of getting the Ada to market. The prototype cost five times more than the initial budget — and then the manufacturing costs tripled the initial budget.

After the company announced they wouldn’t be able to deliver on their funded Kickstarter project, the company has faced financial struggles ever since, according to Kamps’ statement. After 18 months operating with minimal staff — and 10 of those months struggling to make payroll — the company has finally admitted defeat.

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While the failed Kickstarter played a large role in the company’s closure, the camera market is quite different now than when the company launched in 2011. At the time, operating a real camera with a smartphone was a relatively new idea. Six years later, most new cameras have Wi-Fi built in. While the Triggertrap Mobile kits offered more features like sound, motion, and facial recognition triggers, the smartphone camera remote is less of a novelty today.

Triggertrap says technical support ends on Tuesday and while the app will remain available, with no one around to update it, future operating system updates could leave the app incompatible. The company says there are only a few hundred Mobile Kits left, with many of the Triggertrap kits on their website listed as out of stock. The remaining kits will be sold at a significant discount before the shop closes in the next few weeks.

Triggertrap anticipates the closure will be complete in February.