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. Michael
      Superbacker
      on

      Jason you could not be more wrong.....this is NOT goodbye.....this is only the beginning. You refund me my $239 keep the interest or send me my headphones. Or everyone will sue you for this disaster.

    2. Juan Francisco Aguayo
      Superbacker
      on

      I want to see how you spend all the money. And if you still have some, think how you will send us back. Even a dollar could be better than a sorry and a goodbye. Also joined on Facebook

    3. Missing avatar

      moeller
      Superbacker
      on

      many month super news, all over. “the world will is waiting us....” . I am selfemployer, without kickstarter ... without money from others, just with own money... in china.... as german, from germany. Starting without nothing 17 years ago, working hard, promise and delivered, and if i mad a mistake we kept the costs and covered my industrial clients.... now after these time I can be proud, my clients like to increase the volume and I can see that less talking and more doing are the seeds for success. I was wondering about your storiries in the past, but are interstested in whats going.... I am not surprisesed how its end.... If your way works, million on hard working companies doing something wrong. Your Management Teams are dreamers. Sure many GM are employees and can sell just one , themself.... in the end they will loose, no matter how often they can get a contract. so long they will not understand than the business are a relationship between client and product idea. I met many of these GMs and there teams,....i feel boring and dont like to waste my time in these people....
      These Kickstarter project are the last i like to support, because kickstarter are also just intersted in earning money by reducing there risk. They are never intersted in that the newbees are successful.

    4. Sam Charette on

      Man this sucks. And I almost dropped 10k on the startengine offering because I thought this was a good idea and had a future. I’m glad I trusted my gut and didn’t move on it. This sucks. Never did they mention in any update until now that they were having financial problems. 😡

    5. Missing avatar

      Jeff Owens on

      What a waste of time. I mean YEARS! YEARS! I don't see how it could be anything but mismanagement. Go here to try to get something back, https://m.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373

    6. Missing avatar

      Aaron Baggio on

      What about how hard we worked to get that money we gave OSSIC???? this is so bad. You have wronged us.

    7. Tedy Lim on

      WHAT. The reason is unacceptable! This is a clear fraud case,

    8. Daniel Fischpan on

      This is a failure of management. The CEO Jason Riggs failed. Had you simply delivered on the specs of the original campaign everyone would most likely have their headphones. I just hope who ever buys Ossic for pennies on the dollar will honor all of those who have backed Ossic. Ossic's management gets zero sympathy from any backer because you lead us on for YEARS and then pulled the rug right under us instead of being transparent from the beginning.

    9. Missing avatar

      Cameron White on

      Joined the Facebook page as well for the lawsuit. Totally unacceptable to be lead on for so long and denied with weak excuses. Money back or jail time for him!

    10. Rajiv Smith-Mahabir on

      You spent a lot of time writing excuses and nonsense, but nothing about where our fucking money is.

    11. Mubasher Ali on

      “Hello Mubasher, unfortunately we only allowed for refunds up to two weeks after the end of the campaign.” Couldn’t get refunds last year.

    12. Missing avatar

      Robert Leong on

      Q. How many $ did the founders draw down in 'expenses', 'petty cash', 'allowances'?
      Q. How was this anything other than a good ol fashioned shakedown - when they originally stated they could fulfil pledges if they raised just $100k.....yet they 'failed' despite raising more than 25 times their target?

    13. Jim Diffin on

      I’ve joined the Ossic lawsuit Facebook group. Very unhappy about this scam. https://m.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373

    14. Missing avatar

      Mohammed Shanidh on

      Are you fuckin serious. Fraud to such an extent of fooling people. And not even talking about where the money has gone. Not stats nothing. We will come for you. From all parts of the world. We will track you down. Just wait.

    15. David Scholtz on

      This was obviously a scam and my gut told me so - should have listened to it! False promises, fake updates and total BS.

    16. Giovanni Fino
      Superbacker
      on

      Joined the Facebook page about class action. This is a clear fraud case. I accept no silly excusations. I just want my money back.

    17. Missing avatar

      Paul Anthony Stead on

      So not a word of getting any goods or a refund. I’ve joined OSSIC X Class Action Lawsuit.

    18. Missing avatar

      Ryne Carroll on

      Joined the facebook page.

    19. Mark Taylor on

      This is the fourth failed Kickstarter project that I have had the misfortune of throwing my money at. Kickstarter, your research and ability to define are appalling. You should rightly be hounded off Facebook and the net, as your bloodsucking method of crowdfunding should be recognised for what it is. Theft. Fraud at the highest level, and I feel sure that you will shortly get your well deserved come-uppance.

    20. Missing avatar

      Quang N. Tran on

      John the Facebook page guys, they betrayed us. At least we must get what we were stolen.

    21. Missing avatar

      Mark Kosman on

      Make an offer to Neil Young and the Pono player - great sound needs great headphones.
      I'm sorry I never received my headphones, I've been waiting ... and waiting.

    22. Missing avatar

      JH Peter Parker on

      U should your house and cat refund+interest U fraud!

    23. Sam Posten
      Superbacker
      on

      Keep me posted for the class action

    24. Missing avatar

      Luhrion on

      So after countless delays, suddenly it's just "good bye" (to Ossic X as well as our money)... This is definitely the last time I spent serious Money on a Kickstarter project. Sad, just sad...

    25. Missing avatar

      Doddoli on

      I ask for join the « class action lawsuit group »

    26. Missing avatar

      Winston on

      There should have been more communication between this project and the backers. Honesty goes a long way. https://www.facebook.com/groups/932229213618373/

    27. Missing avatar

      Mirko Schwehr on

      okay, that's pathetic

    28. Missing avatar

      Doddoli on

      WTF !!!!!
      Encore une arnaque !!!!
      Plus jamais je ne contribuerai sur kickstarter !!!!
      Je veux être remboursé !!!
      This is bullshit I will never contribute on Kickstarter !!!
      I want my money back !!!
      If there is law suits please let me know

    29. Luciano Mendes on

      PQP!!! Sou que tenho muito azar ou esse modelo do Kickstarter é a maior furada do século XXI? Não sei... dois projetos que arrecadaram milhões de dólares naufragando vergonhosamente e com explicações nebulosas e desculpas mal formuladas. Penso que o Kickstarter tem que pensar em modelos de arrecadação com mais lastro e em formas de dar mais segurança a seus usuários. Com certeza a parte deles foi garfada a muito tempo atrás e sem prejuízo nenhum.

      A OSSIC X, em seus textos e vídeos do inicio da campanha, assegurou que tinha uma equipe experiente e com muita vivência no mercado de áudio. Todas promessas falsas que a meu ver se configuram fortemente como propaganda enganosa. Fora todas as cartinhas descoladas, relatando parcerias incríveis e marcos de desenvolvimento maravilhosos.

      Mais de 500 dólares em prejuízo nos últimos anos. Devo ser muito trouxa mesmo... no momento estou financiando dois projetos e acabo de perder todas as esperanças em ver qualquer tralha oferecida aqui nas minhas mãos.

      Isso é um grande e laboratório de testes de demanda. Bota uma ideia "inovadora" na roda, sente qual a acolhida do público e depois as tecnologias desenvolvidas com a nossa grana devem acabar nas mãos de grandes empresas. Ou vocês acham que eles não desenvolveram nada vendável... vão fechar, não vão precisar pagar e nem entregar nada a ninguém e ainda vão ficar com um ativo super valioso para vender a quem der mais.

      É a maior sacada do mundo digital, pego grana de muitas pessoas, descentralizo as responsabilidades e torro tudo com meu devaneio de ser o próximo Steve Jobs... depois é só fechar as portas e dividir o butim.

      Vou fazer um financiamento coletivo e montar a campanha #kickstarternuncamais. Quem sabe recupero minha grana? Desculpe mendazes responsáveis do Kickstarter, mas não deu para "be respectful and considerate" depois de tanta frustração e raiva.

    30. Simon Thompson on

      Bunch of thieves...aided and abetted by the platform used to to get funds...JR should have used "personal savings" to refund backers. ...his name is mud in the tech world now.

    31. Jose M on

      @phants I certainly didn't back the project only to fly the OSSIC team to parties and events all over the world. CES and others events are not cheap. What we saw here was total misrepresentation of the actual state of the project along the way.

      if you enjoy being scammed and screwed over by OSSIC and other then feel free to continue but please don't come here acting all superior for being a fool.

    32. Missing avatar

      Tyler Andress on

      Complete bullshit. You raise that much money to build a product and you can’t deliver. Horrible money management. Absolutely pathetic and will be forever wishing ill upon this company.

    33. Missing avatar

      Brian Miller on

      I appreciate the update on this. It is sad to think that once again, Kickstarter has allowed another fraud company to set up a false storefront, promise the moon and then conveniently realize at the "5-yard line" that it takes several million dollars to do what they set out, despite this campaign raising far more than the initial amount asked.

      Beating this dead horse is not nearly as tantalizing a thought as taking pure justice into one's one hands, but the real issue is the way forward for us past the class action lawsuit that everyone is clamoring for: boycott ALL crowdfunding until there is abetter system in place for accountability. I realize the basis is that there is no accountability since crowdfunding, at its nature, is to raise money and make enough promises to appease those people that thought their money would go somewhere other than lining the pockets of those that dreamt up the scam in the first place. This is the big problem.

      The crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, take a portion of the fees raised. They profit off of deception. They don't attempt to refund the money that was lost. Nobody does. We paid these fuckers over 2 million dollars just to be laughed at.

      To all at those that say we don't have a right to be angry when our money is stolen, I have to wonder how someone can be so cavalier about losing money.

    34. Victoria on

      What a scam! Ossic, you never even produced the final product as you have been continously lying. Transparency would be to tell us how many headphones you claim to have completed! Financials should be checked in order to discover how the money was embezzled!

    35. Missing avatar

      Dario D'Aversa on

      @phants some projects do fail, yes. But when you raise TWO MILLION dollars, and claim that you raised as much with angels, and show videos of a near-finished product only to tell your backers two years later that you burned all your money --an proclaimed FOUR MILLION F****ING DOLLARS on R&D -- this isn't your average failure. It's complete BS.

    36. Michael
      Superbacker
      on

      WHAT THE FUCK!?
      LAWSUIT ASSHOLE!

    37. Missing avatar

      Isaac Folts on

      Uhhh no actually this isn’t goodbye. You don’t get off that easily I’m afraid. You will hear from us - very soon.

    38. Peter Nyrell on

      While waiting for your product I made my own headphones. They have no sound but sits comfortably on my forehead. SAD SAD news - but when darkness falls I can now mount my headphones on my forehead. In time I will possess more electronics and grow as a person.

    39. Greig on

      Jason Riggs should never be permitted to lead a company again that has public backers. He has been absent, silent and showed no leadership to his backers. I feel if you are serious about delivering a final product you have to have a realistic business plan, Kickstarter gets you the customers and if your plan is even half decent then something comes back in return to their investment. For so many millions to go down the plug hole the leadership are incompetent and have failed in their planning and execution. Accept I loose my money, but giving this apology from Ossic, is bullshit, let it come from the leadership.

    40. Tyler Poelstra on

      This was an extremely ambitious project. I’m sorely disappointed to be out so much backer money. It was the largest project I’ve ever backed, and the last one I back that takes so much to do so. If there is some basic refund available for shipping charges that were never used, that would be great.

      I’m very sad to see such a great technology not make it to mass market. I knew funds were likely tightening up with the updates getting few and far between, and was hoping and expecting some sort of larger company like Logitech to have come along and buy OSSIC, like Facebook bought Oculus.

      I hope there’s some way to soften the blow from all this for so many people who are now left with nothing but a bitter feeling of loss. $250 is nothing to sneeze at.

    41. Abhishek Gami on

      I applied to join the FB group as well. Fully aware the project could fail, but I agree that the company expanded the scope of the project well beyond what was represented at the time of my purchase in ways that were irrelevant to the initial advertised mission. The opportunity to obtain a refund once the scope changed was never presented. Updates misled us to believe that ongoing R&D was aligned with the original mission though we have now learned that the money was being spent on irrelevant activities.

    42. Miha Pavlič on

      I know, that backing a project is a risk and all, but feedback would have softened the blow here significantly,
      Like others have said, all the updates told us about was, how you were visiting tech conventions "showing off" the product, the timeline said it was mostly 6months out and all the updates were made to give us hope of seeing the project come to fruition.

      The latest update comes out of nowhere, doesn't adequately explain how the money was spent, I personally feel, since I've seen no updates, that you did not work as hard as you could have on finishing the project.

      You will need to release any and all documents you've had on how the money was spent, what stage the product is at, show us proof that you actually started working on physical units and either do everything in your power to bring the project to completion or refund the money as stated in the kickstarter guidelines, the money was given to you in good faith considering these guidelines as a rule.

      I will be joining the group for the lawsuit in case it actually comes to fruition, but I implore you to work on your presentation to us, what actually did happen, and why you kept it from us for so long.

    43. phants
      Superbacker
      on

      Unlike most of the commenters here, I know how Kickstarter works. I knew that when I placed my pledge and I don't magically stop knowing that when a project fails. Our money was at risk from the start and it was up to us to decide if we wanted to take that risk. We made that decision when we chose to back the project.

      Some projects fail. This is one of those projects. It sucks and I'm out of pocket for a set of headphones myself. But that's just how it works. Dumping vitriol on people who, as far as I can tell, genuinely gave it their all to deliver an innovative product reveals your own ignorance while also hurting other people.

    44. Missing avatar

      David Moore on

      For those wondering about the promissory notes written to Riggs, Gilford and Lyons, please see pages 5 and 6 of their now withdrawn SEC filing:

      https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1731373/000166516018000113/offeringmemoformc.pdf

      Reality is, there is. I money to pay for refunds or class action suits. If there is anything left, initial backers are not top of that food chain unfortunately.

    45. Missing avatar

      Shamerin White on

      Are you fucking with me?!