A homegrown car-technology start-up has become the first company here to use online "crowdspeaking" platform Thunderclap - which garners supporters for a product or message and then shouts out this information to friends of these supporters via social media.
Clickdrive, founded in 2012 by a team of car enthusiasts, turned to Thunderclap to get the word out on its innovation - a prototype of a wireless device that connects a car to the driver's smartphone and the Internet.
Launched on New Year's Day, the campaign also promotes the "Internet of cars", the notion of technology-enabled, connected vehicles which can access, use and share digital information with other devices, people and organisations.
The campaign, which runs till Jan 27, has already amassed more than 142 supporters, surpassing its target of 100.
After the campaign closes, Thunderclap will push Clickdrive's campaign message out to some 66,000 individuals - friends and friends-of-friends of its supporters - simultaneously via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Indeed, Clickdrive is banking on the power of crowds, for, in addition to Thunderclap, it is also launching a crowdfunding campaign on global platform Indiegogo from Jan 27, to raise US$100,000 in funds to commercialise its technology.
It is, conveniently, also using Thunderclap to promote that crowdfunding campaign - hence its campaign message, "Support the #Clickdrive crowdfunding campaign and help bring the #InternetOfThings to all modern cars".
Chelsea Orcutt, head of outreach at Thunderclap, told The Business Times: "The Clickdrive team provides an excellent model for other Thunderclap campaigners. They have a good understanding of the Thunderclap platform, are actively promoting their campaign on their website and are really thinking about the campaign from the supporter's perspective. They've also got a clear message to promote their product."
The New York-headquartered Thunderclap now hosts more than 8,000 campaigns and has a total social reach of two billion supporters globally.
Indiegogo, in comparison, hosts more than 142,300 crowdfunding campaigns and has raised US$98 million, said a TechCrunch report.
Clickdrive founder Mark Sutheran said: "We like the idea that our final product will be shaped very much by the audience for whom it is intended. Both campaigns will create a community of backers who are emotionally tied to the success of the product and are willing to support the start-up through the trials and tribulations of the launch."
Clickdrive's product, a wireless device no bigger than one's palm, draws data from the car when plugged into its on-board diagnostics system, and enables the driver to access that data via multiple apps on his smartphone. These apps can navigate for him, detect congestion, optimise fuel consumption and even monitor his driving style to save him money on insurance premiums.
Mr Sutheran said: "We want to build the next-generation open platform for smart-driving apps that will make one's driving safer and more hassle-free. The Clickdrive prototype already outperforms similar existing products by up to 500 per cent, as it pulls five times the amount of data from the car than existing Bluetooth-dependent platforms."
The Clickdrive device is compatible with Android and iOS devices; it also enables simultaneous access to multiple devices and apps and operates on an open platform, so that any external app developer can write an app for it.
"Clickdrive is the only product offering the complete package for the connected car, and we're building it here in Singapore," added Mr Sutheran.
The global connected-car industry will hit 39 billion euros (S$68.2 billion) by 2018, according to automobile research firm SBD and mobile operators association GSMA.