Pixie Scientific is a NYC-based startup with a clever premise: their “Smart Diapers” use diapers as real-time urine test strips that monitor everything from dehydration to glucose levels to kidney function. The test panel is on the front of the diaper and by scanning the whole image with a smartphone, Pixie Scientific’s app can analyze the test and provide results in moments.
Smart Diapers are available for both babies and adults, but the baby version was the initial product—they had an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25k that sold baby diapers (and, for $2,500, your child’s face on the box) from July–Sept 2013. Their customer acquisition strategy appears exclusively inbound (I was unable to find any outbound ads), but they have gotten a good amount of publicity that way—I found at least a dozen different articles about their products, and actually first heard about them via a friend’s tweet.
Despite the good publicity, the website was only ok overall. It’s clean and simple, with a cute image of a mom and a baby on a beach, which is nice, but there isn’t a clear and easy button to jump right to the diapers (there is a link in the navigation bar to “Join our Pilot!” however.) When you do follow the link in the nav bar, you learn that because the Indiegogo campaign is over, there’s no way to buy Smart Diapers for babies anymore (which is unfortunate, because I’d have definitely gotten some for my nephew.) They acquired 86 customers through the campaign, but ended up $3.5k short of their goal—not as much actual support as I’d have guessed based on the great publicity. Four people actually did claim those face-on-a-box perks though!
On the other hand, participants are currently being recruited for their Adult “Pixie Briefs” pilot, focused on tracking UTIs and dehydration in elderly and disabled people in assisted living facilities. I think this could be a very interesting market for them, and since it’s the only product that is actually available, I think that they’d want to put some reference to it on their homepage—maybe reduce mom & baby on the beach to the left half of the page, and place an elderly couple on the right half? I’d also give both types of diapers their own big “Try It” button, so site visitors can jump directly to their needs based on those main photos.
Overall though, it’s a neat product and I think they’re making some headway thanks to their good publicity and Indiegogo campaign.