A maker of unreleased 3D-sensing headphones, Ossic, is shutting down and leaving thousands of Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers in the lurch.
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 and $3.2 million 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.