Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
Created by
10,263 backers pledged $2,708,472 to help bring this project to life.

A Very Sad Goodbye.

43 likes

Hello Backers,

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we must inform you that OSSIC is shutting down and will be unable to deliver the remaining OSSIC X headphones.

The OSSIC X was an ambitious and expensive product to develop. With funds from the crowdfunding campaign, along with angel investment, we were able to develop the product and ship the initial units. However, the product still requires significantly more capital to ramp to full mass production, and the company is out of money.

Over the last 18 months, we have explored a myriad of financing options, but given VR’s slow start and a number of high profile hardware startup failures, we have been unable to secure the investment required to proceed.

This was obviously not our desired outcome. The team worked exceptionally hard and created a production-ready product that is a technological and performance breakthrough. To fail at the 5 yard-line is a tragedy. We are extremely sorry that we cannot deliver your product and want you to know that the team has done everything possible including investing our own savings and working without salary to exhaust all possibilities.

The OSSIC X was started as a campaign to create immersive and interactive audio. One of the biggest questions was, in a world of small earbuds and phone speakers, do people really care about great audio? Are they truly interested in the next generation of 3D audio? The success of the campaign was a resounding “YES” that has had a ripple in the audio industry.

We will forever be grateful to you and the team members, investors, and business partners who believed in us and helped give our dream a fighting chance. We were able to achieve some amazing things in an industry that was, and still is, ripe for innovation. Your voice of support throughout these past 2 years will continue to bring change to the industry, as bigger players than us refocus their efforts into better, smarter, and more immersive audio. 

Thank you for all of your support, and we sincerely apologize that we could not deliver all of the headphones.

Sincerely,

- OSSIC Team

--------- 

More information: 

What was accomplished on the project and how were the crowdfunding funds used?

After spending over 2 years working on the Research and Development of the OSSIC X we were able to complete the development of the hardware and initial versions of the software. 

The headphone went through 5 proof-of-concept level builds, 4 engineering/factory builds, and 1 pilot production build—where we completed 250 units and delivered the first ones to those backers on Kickstarter who pledged for the innovator edition reward.

It took, at times, 20 people with expertise in software, electrical, firmware, mechanical, acoustical, signal processing, and sound engineering, as well as UI/UX, industrial design, and program management to develop and ship those units.

The crowdfunding money we received played a huge role in allowing us to get as far and accomplish as much we did – funding half of the R&D and production costs needed to bring the product to life.

Why was this so expensive to develop?

Inventing something new while also developing complex hardware is expensive. The addition of stretch-goals to add mobile support increased the software scope from two operating systems to five, added an incredibly powerful 32-core processor onboard the headphones for processing, and required us to enter into substantial business development with mobile manufacturers to support multi-channel connectivity. It ultimately doubled the size of our development. 

The unknowns that come from grounds-up development with so many new features ultimately stacked up to create delays and cost overruns.

What made this project so exciting, and ultimately ended up being its Achilles heel, was the complexity and scope. This project was complex because it had 3 large categories of development, all with new and unique elements: 1.) Hardware, 2.) Software, and 3.) Audio Ecosystem.

Hardware new/unique/different features: A typical headphone would only have 2 playback transducers, but the X has 8 playback transducers, 6 microphones, and multiple sensors. In addition to the complexity of more elements, head-tracking was a new feature, yet the trackers on the market were too slow. Thus we needed to upgrade mid-stream to achieve smooth tracking.

The software was complex because it required new algorithms to dynamically incorporate sensor information and beamform across the playback transducers. Additionally, with the stretch goals, we needed to support 5 different platforms: embedded-DSP, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android for both UI and custom signal processing. A typical headphone has no software at all. The initial headphone units successfully incorporated custom algorithms and played back over Windows, macOS, and 3.5mm platforms. The iOS and Android app were created and were were on track to be finalized after working through the UI/UX with Beta backers on Windows and macOS.

Additionally, the audio ecosystem itself is complex as 3D audio continues to rapidly changing/developing. VR, gaming, film, and music workflows are different, with tools and formats varying across sectors, and VR/AR workflows were still being defined as we developed. 3D audio information is present in much of the media, but remained inaccessible to the user. Our goal was to ensure compatibility with as many devices as possible, and to give the best experience required ecosystem development and exploration of developer tools. To that end, developer tools including a VST plugin and FMOD Plugin were created, and released in beta to select developers.

How have other companies crowdfunding complex hardware projects succeeded? 

Most crowdfunded companies working on similar complex hardware such as Oculus, and Doppler labs have raised >$10 Million in other investment before delivering on their projects. 

As another reference, Creative labs claims to have spent over $100M working on 3D audio. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/creative-brings-3d-sound-to-headphones-after-us100m-rd

Why can’t you ship the remaining units?

We were not able to secure additional funding, and are out of money. It would take more than 2 million additional dollars to complete mass production of the remaining backlog.

What about other investment?

OSSIC raised substantial Seed Investment from sources other than crowdfunding. Crowdfunding represented about half of total funding.

Initial investment traction was strong, but the slower than expected adoption of VR and the failure of several high-profile crowdfunded hardware companies made it challenging for us to raise subsequent financing.

We explored over 150 investor partnerships in total. While we had some we thought were going to come together, ultimately they did not materialize.

What about StartEngine?

In February of this year, OSSIC launched a crowdfunded equity campaign on the StartEngine platform, hoping it could raise the initial funds to start mass production, and be a catalyst for broader investment. While we secured $130k in commitments, it was not enough interest for us to be able to move forward into production and so we ended the campaign without taking the funds.

What about OSSIC the company?

The company is shutting down effective immediately. We have a very dedicated team up folks who have remained for the last 6 months, working for free, doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed. Through their efforts we were at least able to ship the innovator units.

Can’t someone else build the product?

We engaged with many larger companies who had interest in our technology, but ultimately none of them had both the appetite and ability to make the required investment to bring the product to market.

Ricken Eriksen, bhagvan, and 41 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Radley Young on

      I BETTER BE GETTING MY FUCKING MONEY BACK

    2. David Morgan on

      I've seen a number of smaller Kickstarters that actually delivered on their promises, and were more honest and upfront with their customers. Getting a message like this so far down the line with no advance warning is a farce. Not to mention, you've left out entirely the matter of refunds. With so many people clearly asking for them and for good reason, it's clear that you are deliberately avoiding the issue, to not even address it. I, too, want a refund, because this company (or former company) is clearly dishonest, deceitful, and malicious.

    3. Missing avatar

      LP on

      This is going to be a really tough pill to swallow for many people. But, it will hopefully be a realization on exactly what KS is: a form of investing where you don’t actually get any ROI.

      The real problem here was the total fabrication of communication. You don’t just suddenly go bankrupt. You try to secure other financing for months. You’ve known this for a long time, but failed to say a word. That is the real crime here.

      To all the people who want to sue/class action, spare me. Even if you sue them and win, what money do you expect to get? They are broke!

    4. Craig Steele on

      Total fucking horse shit you guys. I am able to handle the loss of my 200 bucks but seriously.

    5. Missing avatar

      Gregg Wilkins on

      As other people have already commented on, this is really unacceptable. Updates on how things are going so well and expected ship dates and then this bullxit! I have totally lost faith in Kickstarter and I'm feeling like all the backers money of this project went into the development of a product that the company can now sell to someone else and make even more money. I really felt we had an honest team and the Abbey Road Studio supposed support was even more exciting...so much for that. Why was there no mention of the financial issues when all the other PR was so smiley face? I really hope the Karma of this falls back on OSSIC in accordance with their actions!

    6. Missing avatar

      Jeremy Wadsworth on

      OSSIC, can you please open source everything?

    7. Missing avatar

      Kushal Patel on

      So if they haven't fulfilled the obligation to the backers, can we get a refund from Kickstarter? Clearly they violated the rules/terms of use of Kick Starter

    8. Tony Baker on

      $2.7MM wow that’s a lot of dough you guys blew through. Smells like a lot of BS and mismanagement. Takes a lot of effort to blow that kind of wad!

    9. Moshe Bixenshpaner on

      Guys, I've created a Facebook group called OSSIC X Class Action Lawsuit.
      Feel free to join and we'll negotiate the terms with the OSSIC X guys together as a large group with an actual lawsuit on the table.

    10. Missing avatar

      keerthi chandan jillepally on

      No more, Done with this kickstarter and indegogo. These campaigns are just to cheat us. People doesn't live for their words.

    11. Missing avatar

      Mark blades on

      Well that’s me and #kickstarter finished too...ripped off....sucks

    12. Adam Kinniburgh on

      I'm strangely unsurprised by this, and much harder times ahead for OSSIC as the terms they entered into with us backers by using Kickstarter gave them a clear legal obligation to deliver the project or refund the investment, as is the case with all projects.

    13. Missing avatar

      Joel Monteiro on

      I don’t believe in it for a single second. Why making so many promises about the delivery to reach to this point? Why not being honest in January (where you all knew the fate of these headphones and the company) and admitting the real financial troubles?

      Perhaps you (all members involved in the project) could be more humble and get a lower salary pay with the priority to have this project delivered instead of getting our money in our large pockets to simply say: sorry, we can’t deliver you what we promise.

      I consider all of this a scam. I don’t believe there were units delivered (if there was... probably to their friends and family members?).

      I’m a rookie with Kickstarter. This was my first one because I truly believed on this project, to just find out that I was truly wrong.

      Disappointed is not enough to express my feelings right now. I am really annoyed with 2 years of lies. I can only think how I would spend that money in something real and way more useful!

      Disappointed.
      Bye bye future kickstart projects!

    14. Missing avatar

      plouf98 on

      Fucking bastards, you took all the money, paid your wages and bonuses and now you are coming telling us that we will get nothing....really fucking bastards... Your names will be reminded as fucking losers...

    15. Demithyle the Exalted on

      Calling bullshit here chaps - if you knew how expensive it was to develop new technology, why did you set the funding goal so low? You knew from the start your promises were undeliverable without so little money yet you took it anyway.
      Prepare to get your asses sued off because people won't let this one go.
      Want to save your face? Forfeit your promisory notes and start issuing refunds.

    16. Billy Hoe on

      These fucking cunts!

    17. James Foster on

      Frauds and thieves

    18. Missing avatar

      Eddie Diaz on

      Well that's $270 down the drain. Lesson learned. Here I thought everything was going smoothly...

    19. Missing avatar

      keerthi chandan jillepally on

      Thats a lot of time and money we invested! I believe each and every one who waited for 2 years will be answered with their hard earned money.
      So what were they thinking about returning the amount paid ? do they want to cheat us ? because the attached email doesn't has no word of a return!

    20. Eric Hammer
      Superbacker
      on

      @Nimrod,

      We can't sue kickstarter. But the people who created Ossic defrauded everyone here. They never said a word about funding issues and kept claiming everything was on track. They took millions upon millions of dollars. Surely they benefited from this money and they can be sued.

    21. Moshe Bixenshpaner on

      I think we should negotiate some kind of refunding..
      Otherwise, you should prepare yourselves for a class action lawsuit coming at you..

      We really don't care that you worked for free.. it's your problem, just like a successful product would have been your success and not ours. The responsible thing to do is to leave enough money for at least partial refunding (~$200 would suffice) and we really don't care how you get it now - just do.

    22. Missing avatar

      Peter Beck on

      $2,708,472 fuck you

    23. Baris Gomleksizoglu on

      Pebble 2 was also cancelled and shut down the company, BUT THEY HAVE REFUNDED EVERYONES MONEY!

    24. Missing avatar

      James on

      Nah man that's bullshit. I spent 200 bucks and waited 2 years for this. I demand a fucking refund.

    25. Missing avatar

      Boualavong on

      Such a bullshit !!!
      You guys never talked about financials issue and now all of a sudden, bankrupt !
      You guys are just fraud. Last time I will ever back anything.

    26. Missing avatar

      Ryan on

      I’ve lost faith in kisckstarter as a whole and will never find any other project from here again, period. Kickstarter should sue you for defamation because I hate crowdfunding in general now. You’ve ruined more than you’re own startup. You’ve ruined others’ chances as well. I’ll never fund a project again. You were overly ambitious and couldn’t foresee the needed investment amount? I’m livid. Give me my money back and I’d consider giving it to another party that would actually respect their investors. Fuck this.

    27. Ronald van Dijk on

      You fuckers!
      Over 2 years waiting .. And all the people that supported you and youre product ..
      And after all the delay and promesses we Get this shit ..
      And we can wave our hard earned cash goodbye !
      A lesson learned .. never to back anything again!!

    28. Missing avatar

      Jesse Jensen on

      i’m interested in starting/taking part in a class-action suit.

    29. Sami Porokka on

      The news that you have been trying to sell more headphones for a year and all of that time you have known you can't deliver. Even with terms of service that it is a risk it is a scam to sell more when you already know you can't deliver.

      This update actually proves all that.

    30. Missing avatar

      Marcel Biene on

      looks like a huge lie - kickstarter die

    31. John on

      I know the team has a lot of passion and talent, but this feels exceptionally dishonest. Every prior update, including fairly recent ones talking about how soon units would be delivered, and how everything was going smoothly. Then out of nowhere you bust out the whole thing went down in flames. WTF? Would have been easier to swallow if you indicated that there could be some trouble.

      There's also a lot of talk about how much innovation and progress you made. That may be true, but if no one picks up the tech or anyone uses it...hasn't it all gone to waste? Can't you release what you have or something? I'm still hyped for the idea, but if it just disappears then it all seems kind of pointless. Maybe that's harsh to say to the team, but your post presents yourselves as fallen warriors on a battlefield that will inevitably pick up your banner. But then you say no one will back/pickup/continue the work either. Meh. I wish I could get my $200 back, but such is kickstarter life. All the best to your team.

    32. Missing avatar

      rookboom on

      Could you open source the software and hardware designs so that anyone who does want to see this product see the light of day will have a better chance of success? You have put so much effort into this. It would be a shame for that effort to go to waste completely.

    33. Missing avatar

      Jesse Jensen on

      are we being refunded??

    34. Mario Stief on

      Wow... 300 $ and 2 years waiting... I learned my lesson here for sure...

    35. Jason Watt (Zanson) on

      so when this was first stared, it seemed like this was a product 6 months out. and you guys decided to basically con everyone here, after the fact, and missed every deadline and timeline promised.

      you are the reason people don't do crowdfunding any more. because this is a load of bull shit.

    36. Via Coma on

      "When a project is successfully funded, the creator is responsible for completing the project and fulfilling each reward. Their fundamental obligation to backers is to finish all the work that was promised. Once a creator has done so, they’ve fulfilled their obligation to their backers.

      At the same time, backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised. If a creator is absolutely unable to complete the project and fulfill rewards, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to a satisfying conclusion for their backers. For more information, see Section 4 of our Terms of Use. "

      What are you going to do to satisfy these conditions?

    37. Missing avatar

      Nimrod Yanai on

      LOL
      What amused me most is people talking about a lawsuit.
      Clearly haven’t read the kickstarter rules, or even understand what Kickstarter is.

    38. Eric Hammer
      Superbacker
      on

      Who is up for a class action lawsuit against the creators of Ossic? Any assets they have belong to us, the backers who have been defrauded by them.

    39. Missing avatar

      Matt Morin on

      I don't believe any of this bullshit. Do you know why? I haven't seen any proof of delivered products. You're telling me that you shipped 250 units that people paid extra for. However, not ONE of them has posted even an unboxing video. Just admit you bamboozled us all. I've considered that money gone for a long time. I'm upset, but you guys aren't worth the stress. Maybe not delivering a product is legal by Kickstarter terms. But I hope you can prove you actually shipped 250 products. I bet legal action on that front would be justified.

    40. Adam Bolden on

      How do we get our money back?

    41. Tyler on

      GIVE US OUR MONEY BACK!!!!!

    42. Abbas on

      My moneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. I AM A POOR STUDENT. I WILL KILL MY SELF FOR THIS. THIS IS YOUR FAULT OSSIC TEAM. I AM KILLING MY SELF NOW. BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS!!

    43. Missing avatar

      Alan Robinson on

      Another kickstarter that has rinsed me! £100 down the Swanee funny how all the other updates never mentioned financial difficulties. Bastards

    44. Missing avatar

      HonestBuyer on

      Where are our funds? Do I have to file criminal charges against you?

    45. Griffin Macaulay on

      I'm sorry to hear about the ultimate end of the project. I can accept the lost investment - it was years ago, and it was money well spent on your talent. I hope your dedicated team is able to move on and move forward with their careers.

    46. Mike Lee on

      I know the terms and conditions of Kickstarter, so I'm shit outta luck and $, but their last update was a lie, how could they not know they weren't going to be able to deliver back in January?
      Based on that fake product update can't someone out together a lawsuit?

    47. Ricken Eriksen on

      I really do feel for you.
      Even though I am missing out in the headphones that's no where near the stuff you guys have been going through.
      I wish you all the best for your future projects and hope that someone Will make these headphones One Day.

    48. Gary Lee
      Superbacker
      on

      Wow so disappointing... this is prob why no one wants to fund any tech products on KS any more... with all those promising updates and to end this now seems totally off...

    49. Ash Nair on

      Lucky I got my payment refunded a year back! Had a feeling this was gonna flop.