Editor’s Note: We’ve reached out to EnGenuix to have a follow up discussion about their previous crowdfunding attempts, and how far along in production the OTON X actually is. We’ll include their response as soon as it is available. For now, we’ve removed the direct link to the crowdfunding campaign until we can confirm the project’s legitimacy.
[Update]: We’ve received a statement from EnGeniux founder Derrick Samuels concerning the previous crowdfunding attempts, and some primary concerns about the project. In response to our inquiry about the last attempt, and the notion that customers were charged immediately upon backing as opposed to after the successful funding of the campaign, here is what he told us:
“I would be more than happy to answer that question. We tried a late selfstarter in 2012. When we started the campaign we advertised up front we would charge credit cards based on getting the project up and running. No issues with that because Indiegogo called it flex goals. But due to a few trolls online (sorry but that’s the only way I can label some of the people whom had issues with the OTON idea) The idea was big and some people couldn’t handle it. So to make people feel at ease we changed our payment method to charge cards until we reached our goal. But by then the trolls had won. A complete honest idea killed by people that can’t see a vision. We didn’t reach our goal and all the money we received was refunded.
I understand trust me. It so weird. I started my first console with $5 in 2004. Laid off from my job late 2000’s but continued to get product out the door at the expense of my family. We sold most of our units to a 12 pre-school system. It took a few bad people to spread bad lies about us yet we never gave up. I’m a ex-Marine and the last thing I want to do is take people money (still a few good people out here). I wish I had the last $250K I would definitely fund this project myself. Just the last year alone I spent $80K to get us to this point. Sorry for the long rant but I want people to know the truth so someone can tell our true story.A few bad people are holding up maybe one of the most amazing ideas of this generation and it really frustrating.
Will I keep trying…yes…because I believe in my product and just maybe…someone out there will finally see what I see and embrace a new tomorrow with OTON.”
A second update will be included after our inquiry as to the current status of a physical, working prototype has been answered.
[Update #2]: When asked about the current state of the prototype and working programming code, Derrick Samuels provided the following information:
“Yes, I [sic] attach the last prototype units images but there will be one more final dev build. I also attached a video of our programmer demonstrating the code on the prototype hardware.
Yes, the specs are very close to the specs we have at this time. I was holding out for a more powerful board but it seems we’ll be stuck with the ARM A9 CPU until we upgrade the final build a few years from now to something more powerful. Plus, the price point for the hardware had to be right. The hardware will be done in 40 days (mold for both console and controller) and the rest of the time we will work to improve the OTON creation code and data server. If we hit our goal we can hit this date with ease but beyond June it will be difficult.”
Here is the photo provide of the last prototype:
Original Story: EnGeniux, founded in 2012, has spent nearly 2 years developing a console that could create games, not only through user interface systems, but through algorithms which auto-complete levels, even using sprites programmed into the system (hence the “autonomous” label). The OTON X is the result of that development, and in order to make the product completely user-ready, an ambitious crowdfunding project is beginning, today.
On a custom site, users are given several options to help support this new and innovative system. First, by simply spreading the word. Second, with a $99 pledge for an “early bird” unit (limit 50), and lastly, with $139 for a standard unit. This crowd-funding project is unique in that potential backers are also partial beta-testers: A small portion of the product’s capabilities are available to test before any money is pledged. In this way, EnGeniux gets feedback, and potential backers find out whether their money is going to something they’ll actually enjoy, or if perhaps they should save it, even if it’s for an updated OTON X in the future. Users who back the project and receive console units will be more in-depth testers, leading to more improved units down the line.
EnGeniux’s fund-raising goal is $250,000, and they hope to raise it within 30 days in order to ship units out in time for Christmas. These funds will be used for system mold, additional software development, and the all-important FCC approval.
What, exactly, would you be funding? Linux geeks, hold onto your hats:
- the OTON X runs on a custom Ubuntu operating system
- 1.2GHz quad-core built in the ARM Cortex A9 micro-architecture
- HDMI 1.9a visual output, up to 1920 x 1200 pixels
- 3-USB 2.0 (2 standard, 1 micro)
- 1 Ethernet port
- Stereo analog and multi-channel digital (SPDIF; 3-point channel).
EnGeniux makes the promise to backers that all OTON-developed games and levels will always be 100% free, as will any additional levels that may come later. OTON X will support 1st-party, Linux, and 3rd-party games. In addition, any games that are on your OTON X system can be shared, modded, and resold (presumably the latter refers to 3rd-party games).