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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.

Posted by OSSIC (Creator)
44 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 42 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Lolzxad on

      Very disappointed by this result that came out of the blue, there will be heavy consequences to betraying our trust...

    2. Jeroen Riemsdijk on

      Very disappointing.

    3. Abhishek MEHRA
      Superbacker
      on

      So it took you guys 2 years to milk our money, and give us nothing in return?

      A very long sorry note, but no mention of a refund!!

      Fuck you Ossic.. You guys will obviously pay for this with a class action suit.. Best of Luck

    4. Greg Peden on

      btw it was so expensive to develop because you randomly decided to develop on-board audio processing to run spacial sound on phones for no reason. You can only blame yourself.

    5. Alexios Theodorou on

      Join the fb group. Lets file a class action lawsuit.

      https://m.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373

    6. JJtest35 on

      I was under the impression that this product was already created and that you only needed the money to build and ship additional units. Clearly there was a major omission of facts here and Kickstarter also allowed it to happen.

      If you haven't claimed bankruptcy then I imagine you still have money and you better believe most of us will be coming after you for our money.

    7. Lars Mygind on

      Dear Sirs, it would have been Nice if you had been more open about you financial problems sig months ago. Now we do not have a chance to cuntribute. Lars

    8. Patrick rami on

      This is utter garbage, I will be joining the class action lawsuit over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/

      See you ass hats in court

    9. Michael on

      Two years ago I left you a comment, it took 6 months later to reply to assure me everything was fine and on schedule. A year ago, I asked for a refund and no reply. Now this!?! Worst company ever, really hope everyone gets there money back!

    10. Brian Young on

      I hope everyone reads OSSIC’s now withdrawn SEC filing and pays attention to the promissory notes area. In August, OSSIC will give a fat pay check to Jason Riggs, Joy Lyons and her family with funds that essentially come from Kickstarter and Indiegogo(it’s still gaining interest at this point).

    11. Alex Lincoln on

      I'm posting again as I want it to remain upfront and relevant. DO NOT just dismiss what you have put into this company. YOU do have right, and should be informed of them. Take the time to read the kickstarter legal terms and conditions between creator and backer:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics

      https://www.kickstarter.com/section4…

      Under the terms section 4 outlines the binding agreement between you the backer, and Ossic the creator. If you feel like I do and others, that Ossic has not been upfront, honest, and forthcoming about this project, its standing, and use of funds, then join the facebook page put together to bring light to this, and to demand compensation or transparency in how Ossic failed us.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/

    12. Missing avatar

      Michael Blümel on

      Get the FUCK OUT.. Useless words... useless company... waste of hard my earned Money.

      You should be arrestet for wasting that much Money. Get fucked!!!!

    13. Sordel on

      Oddly enough I found myself “liking” this update. I feel that Ossic has not been frank with us (and doubt that they are being fully candid even now) but as a backer I need to move on with my life, not be grinding my teeth waiting for something that showed no sign of ever being delivered. I appreciate the closure, and the *dis*closure.

      Other backers may be interested in sueing but frankly there's no money to recover and if there were, there would be other debtors ahead of us in the line. There are questions I'd like answered, though I doubt that they will be. 1) How much cash reverted to the management team as repayment of loans to the company mentioned in the Startengine funding document? 2) Were the patents related to the Ossic X owned by the company or are they still held personally by the management team? 3) Has there been an attempt to raise money by sale of the patents by *whichever* owner?

      Those questions are for anyone who wants to chase them. Personally, like Ossic, I'm out.

    14. Missing avatar

      Kieren Malone on

      I requested my money back last year twice. I'll now be seeking legal representation. Shame on you. People like you shouldn't be allowed to operate a business, if indeed that's even what this was. What a deflating sham.

    15. Missing avatar

      Jenelle schreck on

      Joined the facebook group. https://m.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373. Everyone should too.

    16. Missing avatar

      Sergey Anchikov on

      Truly unforgivable news, I am very disappointed.

    17. Missing avatar

      Nick Swope on

      The initial Kickstarter said you would be shipping the units within months. You knew full well that was not the truth. You continuously lied to everyone about the time tables and finances of this project. You continued to present the company and product to the public as though everything was coming along slowly, but fine, all while asking for additional preorders. I hope you are investigated for fraud.

    18. Missing avatar

      Xander Tiberius Heist on

      Disgusted. Went from innovators to criminals. Fuck you. I’m joining the suit.

    19. Ebrahim Al-Bishri
      Superbacker
      on

      You guys need to understand that this is kickstarter not Amazon.
      I've backed many projects and it's normal to hit or sometimes miss.

    20. Jose Marcelino on

      Joined the Facebook group now at https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/ not for the class action but to stop people like Jason Riggs scamming other people.

      His reckless actions hurt the entire crowdfunding community.

    21. Niko_Suave on

      Wow. The lies. I understand Kickstarter isnt a store. But all those fucking updates and you didnt mention ONCE that you ran out of money because the projects was "too complex".

      Heres a question: if you knew how expensive it was to CONSTANTLY be getting more advanced, more upgrades, more improvements, why couldnt your team just have stuck with a streamlined design? Is there a reason you HAD to keep making it more expensive and more complex?

      I feel incredibly jipped and swindled. You guys SUCK at communication if you couldnt think to bring this up any other time but the last possible fucking second. The worst part is that your whole team lied. All the updates making it look like your "working prototype" was so close were anything but. You took our money and picked and chose what pieces of information you thought we would want to hear. That's a really shitty, disgenuine way to treat your investors.

    22. Jose Marcelino on

      "The OSSIC team has successfully delivered hundreds of audio products to market. We understand the unique challenges of audio hardware and are familiar with how to avoid and mitigate any issues that arise."

      What a joke. So much for that...

      Looking at actual actions across the years it seems our money funded more PR events for spotlight-craving muppets like Jason Riggs than anything else.

    23. Missing avatar

      Alexandra and Scott Ehrlich on

      I am extremely disappointed after all the “updates” and false announcement you were shipping. I have joined the class action suit facebook group. I want my refund or I want at least a letter from the company noting my investment $ and that it can be declared a loss on my taxes. My son has been waiting patiently for literally years. He is very mad.

    24. Missing avatar

      Ferry Jacobsen on

      I agree a 100% with Dario D’Aversa.
      19th of May 2018 21:31

      A very disappointed backer from Holland.

    25. John Gilbert Espaldon
      Superbacker
      on

      Join the fb group. Lets file a class action lawsuit.

      https://m.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373

    26. Alex Lincoln on

      For those not familiar....these are Kickstarters terms regarding the agreement between creator and backer:

      Kickstarter provides a funding platform for creative projects. When a creator posts a project on Kickstarter, they’re inviting other people to form a contract with them. Anyone who backs a project is accepting the creator’s offer, and forming that contract.

      Kickstarter is not a part of this contract — the contract is a direct legal agreement between creators and their backers. Here are the terms that govern that agreement:

      When a project is successfully funded, the creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward. Once a creator has done so, they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers.

      Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.

      If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:

      they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;

      they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;

      they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;

      they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers;
      and
      they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.

      The creator is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. If they’re unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers.

      Legal action may be taken by backers, as I feel Ossic has not fulfilled these obligations per Kickstarter agreement. They have falsified information and promises during updates, never mentioning financial issues or the possibility of not being able to deliver. When they first started the campaign, both in writing, and demonstration, they conned us into believing they had working prototypes already, software and hardware were fully functioning and in final stages of development, just a matter of producing on mass and shipping. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE. misuse of funds for elaborate studio sessions, and marketing instead of functional products. Still, we haven't seen 1 product reviewed by any of the initial $1000 investors, which leads me to believe they were never delivered in January. I will be joining the facebook lawsuit page as well. At the absolute very least, everyone is entitled to shipping cost being refunded for the product, this should have never been used for development or company wages, and over 10k backers, that equates to a few hundred thousand dollars at the very least. Some people may chalk up the loss to kickstarter and not being able to retrieve anything in return. But im reading about my rights and agreement between us, and you OWE us much more than this one off farewell note in how you tried so hard.

    27. Amit Khaira on

      Kickstarter won't issue a refund ...plain and simple . They have specified it clearly in their terms and conditions. So no point even talking about it. Now , i would request my American backer friends to please advise on how we can take some kind of legal action collectively because as an international backer , i am not aware of this bit.

    28. Pleasantp on

      PT Barnham was right..............there’s a fool born ever minute. And I, along with all you other trusting simpletons are in the front row. This is the 2nd crowdfunding operation I’ve invested in and both have gladly taken my money and ultimately walked away. I’m done with crowdfunding! Whoever is (was) running the company didn’t have the guts to sign his name to the final report. Is his name, maybe Bernie Madoff?
      The final report was noteworthy in it’s lack of information. Were their any patents granted? What happens to the intellectual property and parts for incompleted phones? Are there any company assets left? Has the company formally declared bankruptcy? Who are the officers?
      As a 91 year old music lover, I had high hopes that these phones would rejuvenate some of my age related hearing loss, but I guess not. I suspect someone younger will be outraged enough to file suit, and he has my support.

    29. Moshe Bixenshpaner on

      In order to join the class action lawsuit against OSSIC X, please join our FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/

    30. Mark on

      2 years, $2.7mil, over 10,000 backers and a few beta products given to a select few. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the brief media soirée and champagne on the initial success of obtaining money from innocent mugs like myself who stupidly believed all your bullshit. 30 plus years in IT around the world means I have a fair few contacts in many multi-nat corps and will ensure your names linked to being scam merchants are well known. I agree with many comments below as I believe the few beta units produced were given to a few friends and family. Enjoy your ill gotten gains while you can has Karma is coming for you and it will be sweeter than the shafting you did of innocent people of their money.

      Oh I have contacts in the EU Commission and will be asking them to look into Kickstarter and this and a few other projects from a legislative angle.

    31. Missing avatar

      Brian Chi-Da on

      I would like my refund!!!

    32. Missing avatar

      David Forrest on

      No info on how to get a refund, and lies about the status of the product throughout development. Contacting the bbb because that's garbage

    33. Missing avatar

      Nasser ali on

      This is bullshit.

      I want my money back end of

      Joining the ossic x class action Facebook page

    34. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Yong on

      It's just bad that you have been giving your backers a false perception that the products are in productions and are ready to ship - but in fact there are issues with the company and etc. I think this is a LIE! We want our money back!

    35. David van Ballegooijen on

      Aaaand that’s why you MUST be LEAN, SHIP FAST and focus on an API Centred Ecosystem from day one, in order to “Fail” fast (measure often, reflect, learn and improve in constant cycles...)

      Early and dedicated adopters like we are, would’ve been Perfect for that approach...
      — You showed you did try to some extent but I always felt it was too high level, taking too long to be sufficiently effective (meaning “saving truckloads of time and labor...”)

      This is sad sad news indeed...

    36. Missing avatar

      Frédéri "V.K. Friedrich" POCHARD
      Superbacker
      on

      According to the Kickstarter terms of use and as you are unable to deliver: please refund the money we pledged.

    37. Moshe Bixenshpaner on

      In order to join the class action lawsuit against OSSIC X, please join our FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/

    38. psychicblue on

      You lied to all of us. You hid this disaster and strung everyone along with evasive tactics, lies and promises you knew you could not fulfil without more capital. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Everyone whose name is associated with you now also has cack for a reputation, and I will remember your names and make sure if you ever cross my scopes again that you are reminded of it, constantly.

    39. Yogi Mikes J Panther on

      One more reason I am no longer backing any Kickstarter project. Ever. Promises with our deliveries are too often an occurrence here. Like crypto ICO. Fund paid for a “Good idea”.
      I would certainly appreciate if this knowledge was more known right about ages back - when financial difficulties arisen. Not find this damn surprise now.

      I would expect one of the following options:
      1. Have the project open sourced to some extent and have use our collective financial acknowledged and prioritised, for
      2. Create an IP license allocated to all funding parties pro-rata, so any future project development / take over by another party would yield benefit to financiers at the very least.

      Else this is a colossal waste of effort and 0 funding and winding company up is either stupid or fraudulent act ( reforming it as something else to carry on trading with the same IPs )

    40. Ove Sandvin on

      It is a factory in Trondheim, AMD owned, they make props for many things, mobile phones, graphic, headphones ... They are specialists on building smart and easy and produce. As far as I know, using the normal code is programming.

    41. Jeannie Goldwire on

      This is not acceptable. I want my $269.00 back. I was patient for two years. NOT OK.

    42. Missing avatar

      Dario D'Aversa on

      While I'm very frustrated by the news that you're shutting down, having lost more than 350 CAD $, I would have to say I'm not surprised -- in fact, my regret is not having asked for a refund months ago when I saw you guys were a joke.

      1. You made it look like you were in prototype stage the entire campaign, having "ugly but working" prototypes, videos where you show people & they're acting like they're blown away, yet you claim all your money got dry on R&D. How can you burn ALL that money on R&D if you kept showing us a product that was almost done?!

      2. I knew you were wasting money when you kept showing yourselves going to trade shows, events, etc. You're still in R&D yet you're wasting all kinds of capital "showing off" something that doesn't exist. You just went out there to have a good time with people's money.

      3. Simply put, the lack of updates. It was so obvious you guys had NOTHING good to share with us since you got the money, that I had a feeling you were probably smoking it all away.

      4. Instead of letting people know of your hardships, you just go silent and all of a sudden announce you're shutting down. Cute story about how you've been working without salaries, but I'm not buying it. If you were passionate about your project, you would have reached out. But instead you were quiet until it died. Proves you never cared.

      Oh, well. It is what it is ... once again I get F***ED over by Kickstarter. I'm pretty much done with this site. I understand the risk, but there's just too many lies. This product looked almost completed even during the funding period, and then we're told months/years later that "R&D is expensive". What a bunch of thieves.

    43. Christopher Summers on

      Shit happens, we get that.

      But your communication sucked. You led people on thinking this was still on track, but in reality you were shutting down.

      Look, I get this sort of thing does happen. But lying to your investors doesn’t only affect us, it’ll affect every other company who tries to crowd fund their projects as well.

      You do owe all of us our money, or at least a portion of it. You owe us for the shipping cost you collected as well.

      And Kickstarter owes us to makes sure you lot never get a chance to use this platform for fundraising ever again.

    44. Missing avatar

      Alex Lamoury on

      @ Dave Rogers everything you just said!! When they asked for extra investment, before anything had been delivered, anywhere.....I thought of my Nigerian uncle to whom I owe £10k to cover his sunshiney persona... He’s quite persuasive... 😤

    45. Grant Bullock
      Superbacker
      on

      This is truly disappointing, another Kickstarter campaign shuts down and all the backers are left with a product and their money. I understand things don't go always as planned, but to lead individuals who supported your campaign on while knowing you can't provide a product and don't plan on returning their money is not only criminal, but a waist of our time. I plan file a claim against this campaign and I urge fellow backers to do the same.

    46. Missing avatar

      Marc Diaz on

      Complete and utter BULLSHIT !
      This WILL be my LAST.
      i will not Deal with product not being delivered, Kickstarter should be ashamed at themselves for not protecting Backers from these shady companies..
      I AM DONE !
      Thanks for nothing Kickstarter !