About Face VR is dedicated to creating products and solutions for increasing comfort and hygiene in head mounted displays ("HMDs"). By supporting the About Face project you will be a critical part of our mission to upgrade user comfort in VR.
The About Face project was born out of necessity. My first foray into VR development was a mountain biking exercise simulator called Project Singletrack. While experimenting with that system I quickly ran into issues with my Rift getting sweaty. Around the same time, I founded the NY VR Meetup and noticed that sweaty Rifts were not just a problem for VR exercise but for the VR community at large. In thinking about the problem, I realized how important HMD ergonomics and hygiene were going to be for widespread adoption of VR technology.
To address these ergonomic and hygienic needs, we are pleased to launch the About Face project, a line of research backed products for the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 that drastically improve actual comfort and cleanliness in virtual reality.
Biomechanics and Ergonomics for Increased Comfort:
The patent pending About Face system is made up of two parts: (1) An ergonomic, force dispersing insert; and (2) microfiber encapsulated foam liners that are removable and washable.
The ergonomic insert is designed to optimize comfort by accommodating the biomechanical properties of the human face. With increased width anchor flares corresponding to the forehead and cheekbones, the About Face insert distributes the pressure of the Rift onto the most robust areas of your face. This results in a more secure connection between you and your HMD, and makes it more comfortable for extended use.
The microfiber encapsulated dual layer open celled foam liners ("Type M,") detachably connect to the insert. The dual layered open celled foam molds to the individual contours of your face and the microfiber encapsulation provides a soft, luxurious, wicking contact-surface for your skin. The liners are removable and washable to provide a clean, fresh, experience.
We are also offering the option of a hygiene liner ("Type H") designed specifically for people that provide demos for the public. The hygiene liners have an impermeable top surface layer that can be wiped down with alcohol or other disinfectant between uses.
Computer Aided Design and Injection Molding Makes Integration Easy:
In order to make sure the About Face system will integrate seamlessly with the Oculus Rift, we laser scanned the inside surface of the Rift and used those scans to CAD model the insert. A groove along the Rift-facing side of the insert accommodates the various curves of the Rift allowing the insert to snugly mate with the HMD. The About Face system is compatible with the DK1 and the DK2.
We Need Your Support to Make VR More Comfortable:
We've brought this project to Kickstarter to engage the VR community and ask for your support in producing the About Face system in quantity. In exchange for your support, you can feel confident that you will receive a quality product that will make your personal VR experiences a lot more comfortable.
Supporters can also take pride in the fact that they are contributing to the growth of VR as an industry by supporting our R&D efforts in addressing the unmet human factors and ergonomic needs of the VR community. Together we can make VR cleaner and more comfortable and bring our dreams one step closer to reality.
We're Ready to Manufacture:
We've spent a lot of time and effort to set up our manufacturing back end before launching this Kickstarter in order to be able to get our backers their rewards quickly. The tooling for the injection molded insert is set up, as is the thermoforming machinery for the microfiber encapsulated foam liners. We should be able to start sending out About Face systems within a few weeks of the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign.
VR Community Testimonials:
Message from the Inventor:
Hello! I’m Eric Greenbaum, neuroscientist, VR developer and inventor of the About Face ergonomic system. I spent the better part of a decade researching some of the most complex neuroscience and biophysics problems facing the medical community. Specifically, I worked on understanding the role of protein folding in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In approaching the human factors and ergonomic challenges of head mounted displays, I brought a scientific, research based approach to my R&D efforts.
In creating the About Face system, I drew on a variety of scientific disciplines. In order to understand the best way to distribute force about the face, I immersed myself in the latest research in ergonomics and orthotics. I explored various dermatological texts to better understand the skin of the face and how best to care for it. Finally I explored the rapidly developing field of high tech textiles and structural foams to select the best materials to ensure maximum comfort and cleanliness. The result is a breakthrough in facial-HMD interfaces that is sure to upgrade user comfort and hygiene in VR.
Thank You all for your support and all of the positive feedback I've received from the VR community already. I'm so excited to be a part of this developing industry and I'm proud to do my part to make your VR experience more comfortable.
Thanks to your overwhelming support we can now announce some stretch goals to further improve your VR experience. First is the 'Heather Collection,' a set of 2 additional microfiber encapsulated liners that can be added to any order for $16. The microfiber heather patterned fabric is incredibly soft and silky and will make a great addition to any About Face system. We are also providing the ability to add-on additional Type H (hygiene liners) to any system for $12 each. If we reach $30k in funding every backer will also receive a mesh wash bag to protect your liners in the washing machine.
Risks and challenges
I am highly confident in our ability to deliver the About Face system on time and up to spec. It is very unlikely we will encounter anything creating significant delays. Should a hurdle arise, we have the experience and network to overcome it quickly and efficiently. I have brought products to market before and I have retained experts specializing in Kickstarter campaigns to troubleshoot any issues as they arise. This product has been designed to be efficiently manufactured. The hard work is done! The rest is run-of-the mill production challenges of money and timing. I have backup suppliers for our backup suppliers. Our deadlines are conservative and our current momentum forward is ahead of schedule. Our first priority is delivery of rewards -- after that, and because of your help, our quest to design new and innovative products for increasing comfort in VR can continue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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