Team behind VR headphones preparing for production as Kickstarter campaign draws to a close

Ossic X dev tools due for release this summer

Developers will be able to get their hands on tools to help them introduce full 3D audio into their virtual reality titles later this year as Ossic gears up to release its innovative headset.

The company is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the Ossic X headphones, a device that promises to “auto-calibrate to the listener’s anatomy [and] recreated 3D sound for an individual just at they would hear it in real life”.

At the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign has just three days to go but has already raised $2.4m – leaps and bounds ahead of its $100,000 goal – from over 9,000 backers. With its funding pretty much guaranteed, Ossic’s CTO Joy Lyons tells Develop the next priority is to get devs on board.

“We are talking to game developers about how to best integrate with their systems and games,” she said. “When the headphones ship, there will be some ‘wow’ experiences available to show-off the technology.

“We are also working on developer tools that will be available later this summer.”

The first production units are due to ship in November, with pre-orders opening shortly after the Kickstarter campaign finishes. Once backers and pre-order customers have received their devices, Ossic will offer direct sales.

While the headphones are advertised for use with movies and music, Lyons stresses that virtual reality and gaming were the inspiration for Ossic X.

“The ability to recreate a fully interactive sound environment that convincingly transports the listener to another time and place places the bar very high for the core acoustic design and algorithms,” she says. 

“Additionally, as gamers ourselves, we require dead-on location accuracy, sound quality, low-latency, ambient noise isolation, a communication microphone array, and durable metal structure. 

“OSSIC customises the playback for the individual listener by using sensors in the headphone to learn about your auditory anatomy. This information is fed into an adaptive algorithm that customises the playback for you. The result is accurate sound localisation and great sound quality that matches how you naturally hear.”

This article is part of our month-long Virtual Reality Special.You can find more VR content here.

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