Crowdsourcing Innovation: Damian Boczek, Cmoar

Crowdfunding sites are offering a new path for inventors with original ideas. We talk to inventors looking to gain the public’s favour...

Crowdfunding sites are offering a new path for inventors with original ideas. We talk to inventors looking to gain the public’s favour...

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 Name: Damian Boczek

 Job title: CEO & Founder

 Organisation: Cmoar sp z o.o.

 Location:  Mikołów, Poland            

Product: Cmoar – modular, smartphone-based headset

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What it does & how it works:

Cmoar consists of three headsets, each serving different purposes, having different specifications and producing different effects. Our VR module is equipped with large, 48mm customized lenses that generates up to 105 degrees FOV. 2D & 3D high-quality modules have been designed to satisfy all the movies and games enthusiasts who wish to see their favourite movies or play their favourite games on huge, crystal-clear screens.

What makes it special?

Cmoar is not a regular smartphone-based headset. What distinguishes Cmoar from all the other solutions, apart from workmanship, price and simplicity of use is integrated electronics, external sensors and such accessories, for example is the Cmoar Gamepad, which is equipped with sensors as well. These features provide unparalleled immersion, eliminating such problems as the drift issue which annoys a great many headset users.

What’s your background, and what inspired you to come up with the idea?

Everything started over two years ago when Oculus gained a huge popularity on Kickstarter. Nevertheless, I didn’t merely want to observe the revolution – I wanted to become a part of it. It didn’t take me long to understand what feasible potential the smartphones have. I was discovering their possibilities day by day and for the first time I decided to combine the features of all the already existing headsets and pack their good points into one device. More importantly, I didn’t want Cmoar to be one of many. I wanted it to be either equal to or better than the valued brands on the market, like Samsung Gear VR. That’s why I enriched it with extra features, like integrated electronics and external sensors that is something that most of the currently available smartphone-based headsets simply lack.

Why choose Kickstarter?

I believe Kickstarter is a great platform that lets every creator find out whether his/her product catches on the market. We treat it as a sort of a test, checking what people think about our product, how they’d like to improve it etc. We receive valuable feedback from our backers and we carefully analyze it. The second reason why we hit Kickstarter is more prosaic - we simply need the funds to bring Cmoar to regular manufacturing and the costs of injection moulds are unfortunately really high. With our backers’ support,nothing is impossible.

Is Crowdfunding good for innovation? How so?

Yes, it’s an interesting tool for innovation. Many innovative products stem from crowdfunding platforms, as this is the alternative way to go. This is a good way for an inventor to learn at what kind of new services, products, user experiences, etc. new customers look favorably and which they find that are not worth their attention and money.

Reactions from users on KS so far?

The reactions have been very positive so far. We’ve received a great many encouraging comments and valuable feedback on the value of our product.

What lessons have you learned from your campaign?

Always listen to your backers. Their advice is sometimes worth one’s weight in gold.

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Do you think Google’s Cardboard idea – low-cost gear that makes use of people’s smartphones – is key to getting Virtual & Augmented Reality technology into the hands of the public at large?

In my opinion, Google definitely did an important thing by introducing Virtual Reality to the masses. Thanks to Cardboard, more people became interested in VR, starting to see it as a significant step in modern development. I think Google Cardboard is just fine when you want to have a first contact with VR but you will need a more advanced headset to enjoy Virtual Reality in good quality and for long hours.

What does the Cmoar headset offer compared to the average Cardboard kit, or similar competitors on crowdfunding sites?

First of all, our VR module is equipped with 48mm lenses, which are larger and produce bigger FOV (up to 105 degrees). In comparison, Google Cardboard is equipped with just 25mm lenses. Another benefit of using Cmoar is that it’s been enriched with integrated electronics and external sensors that provide incomparable VR experiences. Last but not least, Cmoar has a modular construction that apart from VR offers you 2D and 3D high-quality modules. If you’re a fan of movies or games, you will most likely fall in love with them :-)

The price is also a distinguishing factor, as for just $150 the user may enjoy all the functionalities that for example Samsung Gear VR and Sony Morpheus offer.

What do you see as the best uses for Augmented/Virtual Reality?

The capabilities of both Augmented and Virtual Reality are limited just by our imagination. They can be used in advertising, marketing, presentations, learning, tourism or architecture to name just a few. They extend from what is mundane to something innovative and fascinating.

What's next for the company and the product?

Now we’re focusing on Kickstarter but if we succeed, and we believe we will, we’ll do everything to bring Cmoar to a global market. I also think my company needs to expand, as we’ll need more and more game developers, graphic designers etc. Cmoar is not just the headset but to keep it alive we believe that this is our duty to create equally fantastic games and apps to work with it.



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