Ossic bails on $3.2 million Kickstarter and Indiegogo '3D headset' project [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2018
A maker of unreleased 3D-sensing headphones, Ossic, is shutting down and leaving thousands of Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers in the lurch.

Ossic X headphones


The company had managed 22,000 preorders costing between $199 and $299, but announced on its website that it has been unable to find enough funding and is simply out of cash, even with millions in separate seed funding and a team working for free during the last six months.

The company sold 250 "developer" units costing $999 each, but their advanced features are unlikely to be of much use without first- and third-party support.

Ossic promised headphones that would automatically sense the dimensions of a person's ear, generating a custom sound profile. They were also intended to track head positioning, which could've had applications in augmented and virtual reality experiences.

In all the company's crowdfunding efforts raised $2.7 million through Kickstarter with $3.2 million in total accounted for through Indiegogo, according to Business Insider.

Losing money is a real risk of such platforms. While backers can potentially get products before anyone else, and other perks as well, many crowdfunding efforts fail and refunds aren't guaranteed. Nevertheless a Facebook group has organized around Ossic's demise, threatening a class action lawsuit.

Update: Updated to reflect the total amount of the campaign, which is $3.2 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,300member
    Exact reason why I dislike Kickstarter. You’re funding a company, yet have none of the rights of a shareholder. They should go through the traditional funding rigamarole that goes with creating a startup. This weeds out the deadbeats and those who cannot follow through on plans.
    edited May 2018 ronn
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Yeah, it gets pretty iffy with some of the advanced devices people are looking for funding for. With comics, or books, I think it is a legitimate possibility and you are out THAT much hopefully. I'd guess the people at this company had some pretty good times with the amount they raised. And I believe absolutely no legal recourse for the, how to put this politely, 'potential financial backers'. 
  • Reply 3 of 16
    ronnronn Posts: 330member
    I abadoned Kickstarter a while ago. Probably 50% of the scams... er, projects I backed went kaput. And almost none have met expectations in a timely fashion. Kickstarter gets a portion of the funds raised, so it's in their interests to not give a flying F about folks getting a proper refund.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 16
    thrangthrang Posts: 767member
    You have to be nuts to through money into something like Kickstarter...
    ronnSpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 16
    There is also a lot of misrepresentation, people claiming they're in the US to gain trust, when they're actually halfway across the planet. The worst offender I've seen was "Ritot" on Indiegogo: they did a great campaign for their projection watch, and people like me who trusted they were based in San Francisco gladly contributed. Turns out they're based in Russia, and collected over $1.5 million under false pretenses. Two years later they still produce "updates" but it's become abundantly clear at this point that they will never ship anything worthwhile. Their explanation for lying about their whereabouts: "nobody would have trusted us" For jus reason, I think.
    ronnRayz2016
  • Reply 6 of 16
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,123member
    thrang said:
    You have to be nuts to through money into something like Kickstarter...
    Like everything, you have be discerning on what you "back". For example, Studio Neat got started with "The Glif". Two people with a great idea fully designed and just needing money to scale production. Shipped early and more than met expectations.

    Personally, I would steer far clear of anything needing development. The product needs to be fully finished and production ready.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 16
    netmagenetmage Posts: 273member
    Kickstarter is no different than eBay or sometimes Amazon Marketplace, etc - you need to be discerning and evaluate how realistic the product and pricing are before donating.
    edited May 2018 StrangeDaysrandominternetperson
  • Reply 8 of 16
    thrangthrang Posts: 767member
    You dont "donate" on eBay or Amazon...it's completely different. 

    You buy something that already exists and has buyer protection.


    ronnrevenant[Deleted User]
  • Reply 9 of 16
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,979member
    Exact reason why I dislike Kickstarter. You’re funding a company, yet have none of the rights of a shareholder. They should go through the traditional funding rigamarole that goes with creating a startup. This weeds out the deadbeats and those who cannot follow through on plans.
    That's why you need to do the research on them. I backed multiple vendors and got them all like Bink camera, Ring doorbell and Waylens 360. They all sent products to me within a year.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    wrcedarwrcedar Posts: 5member
    I fund projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo because it lets me support creators who produce things I'd like to use that might not otherwise make it past the idea stage. The 50% figure cited above isn't a good match to what I've seen. I've funded 40 projects on Kickstarter and haven't seen a single failure. Yeah - a few have been comically late, but they all produced something that I could use and enjoy.

    Still this is not one that I'd have felt good about funding. A project featuring revolutionary new technology and without clear details on how it works ("calibration" is not a detail) is a huge red flag to me. I used to work in R&D at a technology company and I have some feeling for what's involved in productizing new technology. It always took far more time and resources than even my most pessimistic estimates. I had to keep reminding myself "If it was easy someone would already have done it." We made some neat stuff but I couldn't have imagined us doing something this radical on a Kickstarter-scale budget. Unfortunately.

    edited May 2018 randominternetperson
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Exact reason why I dislike Kickstarter. You’re funding a company, yet have none of the rights of a shareholder. They should go through the traditional funding rigamarole that goes with creating a startup. This weeds out the deadbeats and those who cannot follow through on plans.
    The beautiful thing is that you can avoid Kickstarter while others, who understand the risks, can make use of it.  I've funded 62 projects and only one has flat-out failed to deliver.  But then, I don't put money up for speculative, too-good-to-be-true tech projects.
    willcropoint
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,710member
    There is also a lot of misrepresentation, people claiming they're in the US to gain trust, when they're actually halfway across the planet. The worst offender I've seen was "Ritot" on Indiegogo: they did a great campaign for their projection watch, and people like me who trusted they were based in San Francisco gladly contributed. Turns out they're based in Russia, and collected over $1.5 million under false pretenses. Two years later they still produce "updates" but it's become abundantly clear at this point that they will never ship anything worthwhile. Their explanation for lying about their whereabouts: "nobody would have trusted us" For jus reason, I think.
    Interesting. 

    http://drop-kicker.com/2014/08/ritot-projection-watch/


    wrcedar
  • Reply 13 of 16
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,364member
    If a project is on KS and IndieGoGo, steer clear. Joint crowd source project rarely make it and are usually scams.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    As someone who may someday do a kickstarter, running into trouble and out of money on a financially successfully campaign is one of the worst nightmares I could imagine. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I do not envy them the position they have found themselves in.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 15 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    steven n. said:
    thrang said:
    You have to be nuts to through money into something like Kickstarter...
    Like everything, you have be discerning on what you "back". For example, Studio Neat got started with "The Glif". Two people with a great idea fully designed and just needing money to scale production. Shipped early and more than met expectations.

    Personally, I would steer far clear of anything needing development. The product needs to be fully finished and production ready.
    Isn’t fully finished and production ready what Kickstarter claim they will not allow? Besides, I disagree that projects need to be fully finished and ready. And in a promo video something can be made to appear finished when it is not. I’d say a good way going about what to back is:

    1, how complex is the product attempting to be produced? And thus, what’s the likelihood of success. A necklace, garment, bed ware, clever key chain or simple board game (without many pieces) is easier to build than a piece of complex technology.

    2, how costly is the product? A $25 loss is easier to swallow than a $500 loss. Each backer has their own measure of wealthy and max amount they can brush off.

    3, trustworthiness. Are these folks well known for producing in this area previously? Do I know and trust them? If I don’t know them formerly, do they activate my spidey-sense? Do they appear to be trying to hard to get me to trust and like them? Does the video look a bit vague, sketchy, cheesy or too good to be true?

    Complexity, cost, gut feeling or prior knowledge, maybe in that order, too.
    edited May 2018 ronnwillcropoint
  • Reply 16 of 16
    After getting burned several times on indiegogo, I make sure to initiate a chargeback on my payment before the time limit expires if it looks like the product is never forthcoming. Indiegogo and Kickstarter themselves do not care to get involved.
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