About Face, an ergonomic liner for the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2, was enthusiastically received when it launched on Kickstarter at the end of September. The campaign passed its funding goal of $12,000 in less than 24 hours. Now, having more than doubled its goal, the crowdfunding campaign has 37 hours remaining. About Face founder Eric Greenbaum talks post-Kickstarter plans and the future of About Face as a company.
About Face is a detachable liner for the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 which offers a way to customize the look of the Rift while also enhancing hygiene. The accessory is washable, and aimed at Rifts that see more than their fair share of faces—over time, the existing foam can become soiled by sweat, makeup, and oil, and begin to breakdown without careful use. For those using their Oculus Rift to demo the potential of virtual reality to the public, About Face is a welcomed accessory, at least if we’re judging by the Kickstarter campaign which has raised more than $28,000 from 631 backers.
“…we were delighted by the positive feedback from the VR community and are deeply grateful for the support we received,” Eric Greenbaum, Founder of About Face, told me. “I think that our Kickstarter success stemmed in large part from the fact that we were addressing an unmet need. The support we received validated our hypothesis that comfort and hygiene are critical parts of the VR equation.”
The campaign has reached the first of its two stretch goals; at $22,000 About Face added a new liner style with a ‘heather’ pattern that backers could add on to additional orders at $16 for two additional liners. The campaign is less than $2,000 from its second stretch goal: a mesh wash bag, for all backers, which can be used to protect the washable liners against damage while in the washer.
Greenbaum, who also organizes the NYVR Meetup, says that he’s confident that rewards will head out to backers in December. “Over the next few weeks we will be laser focused on fulfillment,” he said. In addition to meeting and important need, he attributes some of the success and turnaround speed of the campaign to launching at the right time during development.
“…we waited until we had production-ready prototypes before we launched our campaign. That strategy allowed us to show off a polished product to potential backers and instill confidence that we’d be able to deliver on our promises,” he told me.
When I asked about About Face as a company, Greenbaum told me that the vision is to offer ergonomic accessories for more than just the Rift.
“Looking a little further down the line, we see About Face as a company that will be constantly innovating at the intersection of HMDs and faces,” he said. “We are currently developing technology that will allow for adjusting the fit of HMD’s to accommodate the various contours of different sized faces. We plan to roll out new product lines that will be compatible with new HMDs as they enter the market. The HMD-user connection is an intimate connection and About Face is committed to making that connection clean and comfortable for all users.”
Full Disclosure: About Face is running an ad on Road to VR.