Today in the virtual reality community a king has been dethroned.
In 2012, the Oculus Rift closed a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $2.4 million from 9,522 backers. This was the most successful VR related crowdfunding campaign the world had ever seen. Until now.
Now, OSSIC has raised over $2.6 million from over 10,000 backers for its 3D immersive-sound headphones. The “OSSIC X” is now the most successful VR Kickstarter of all time.
OSSIC is building off of this momentum by announcing a partnership with the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios and the commencement of its pre-order program.
According to the company, this partnership with Abbey Road is an incubation program that “gives OSSIC access to some of the best audio engineers in the world, who will be providing feedback and guidance on the OSSIC X headphones as they develop.”
Following the Kickstarter – which closed today – OSSIC will begin accepting pre-orders on its website for the OSSIC X, which will cost $299. OSSIC CEO Jason Riggs confirmed that backer headphones will begin to ship in January of 2017 with pre-order customer devices going out in February of that same year.
In a full interview with UploadVR, Riggs discusses the future of a company that just outpaced Oculus – one of VR’s Mt. Rushmore institutions – through this wildly successful fundraiser.
UploadVR: First of all congratulations!
Riggs: Thank you! We are very excited to achieve $2.6M in funding on Kickstarter because we were able to unlock our stretch goals for our backers. This allows us to develop software for more platforms including mobile and consoles and so that we can bring this experience to more people and let them use OSSIC with all of their devices.
UploadVR: Is there anything you would like to say to your 10,000 plus backers out there?
Riggs: We are incredibly grateful to our backers. They have been extremely supportive and provided us feedback along the way that we have taken into account while building the headphones. They are helping us revolutionize the way people can experience audio.
UploadVR: Why do you all think this campaign was so wildly successful? Did you think it would be this big?
Riggs: The campaign really exceeded our expectations. In terms of why it’s successful, I think virtual reality has people excited about the possibility of fully immersive content, and they realize audio is a big part of this experience. They are also excited about the next level of immersive audio experiences they can experience with their existing content, like music, movies, and games.
UploadVR: Where does OSSIC go from here? $2.5 million is a lot of cash. Where will that go? Does having this money allow you to do anything you didn’t think would be possible before?
Riggs: The majority of the funding actually goes toward building this new product. Beyond this, it allows us to add support across more platforms for our backers, like consoles and mobile. It also gives us the opportunity to make key hires to our team to help us deliver the technology.
4. Is OSSIC pursuing other types of investment/revenue?
Riggs: OSSIC is going to launch direct pre-sales on our website following the close of our Kickstarter campaign.
UploadVR: What is the nature of OSSIC’s relationship with Oculus? They seem to have taken an interest in the OSSIC X. Is there a deeper connection there between your two groups? Is Oculus becoming a sort of “godfather” to the VR industry as a whole?
Riggs: We don’t have a formal relationship with Oculus, but it was definitely the pioneer in making consumer VR a reality. All of the companies who are working on virtual reality right now have benefited from the excitement and awareness from them paving the way.
UploadVR: Will there be an OSSIC 2 or another Kickstarter in the near future?
Riggs: We’ve built our headphones to be a smart upgradeable digital platform, where we can add functionality, and upgrade software. We are working to deliver our headphones and unlock cool new features for our backers, so we don’t have plans for another Kickstarter anytime soon.
The OSSIC X is the 37th most successful Kickstarter campaign of all time in terms of money raised.