Cinera Edge personal cinema HMD headset

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6 min read

Kickstarter:

Cinera Edge is the world’s first personal cinema HMD that features dual 2.5K micro-OLED and a Dolby Digital® certified headphone with 5.1 channels of surround sound. The combination boasts a real theatrical immersive experience with fantastic video and audio quality, making the device a true mobile cinema. It invigorates your movie, TV, or gaming experience, and escalates your daily entertainment to a new level.

Cinera Edge is a HMD headset that provides you an immersive personal cinematic experience when you watch videos or play games.

The project was brought to our attention by several concerned readers. A quick look at the Kickstarter campaign comments and we understood why.

18-month delay so far

Cinera has yet to deliver the product as of July 2022 despite the estimated delivery of December 2020. An update in May 2022 mentioned that the first batch was ready to ship, but there have yet to be any backers who seem to have received the product.

Some backers received their tracking numbers, but we know that tracking numbers don’t mean anything if the tracking information show that the shipment is just sitting in the warehouse.

Kickstarter has deactivated their campaign due to backer complaints. Meanwhile, their Indiegogo campaign is still running and has raised over USD 200,000 since it launched on Indiegogo.

Poorly-handled PR

Cinera founder and CEO Peter Lin spoke at a Founders Breakfast event by WeHustle on 10 July 2022 in Shenzhen to share “How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign”. The video of the session has been removed from their YouTube channel after backlash from unhappy backers.

That was a thoughtless move by a CEO so out of touch with how to deal with people who trusted in his vision and product, and paid money to support him. Perhaps he considers it a success since he raised close to USD 1.4 million over a USD 10,000 goal.

Did Cinera seriously only aimed to sell 25 units of the USD 400 headsets? We know that the low funding goal is just a way to trick the Kickstarter algorithm and inexperienced backers. With the right planning, you can get a 1,000% raised to impress potential backers and get the algorithm to drive more traffic to the campaign.

Backers would consider the campaigns successful only if they have already received the product promised to them. For them to wait for one and a half years and then see the Cinera CEO claim that the campaign was a success is a bitter pill to swallow.

Background research

The Cinera brand in China is held by First Cinema Technology (Shenzhen) Co, Ltd. The US trademark is held by Hong Kong company First Cinema Limited.

The company’s website indicates that their US address is 2035 Sunset Lake Road Suite B2, Newark, Delaware 19702 USA. There are many companies registered at that address but the closest match is Cinera, Inc. This is most likely a virtual office.

Bad track record

A quick research showed that Cinera ran a Kickstarter campaign back in 2017 for the first generation of their product that raised over USD 250,000.

Comments from backers who received the product show that what they got were far from what was promised.

Yes Christian, it is very unfortunate that the Cinera forum is down. Customer support seems to have wound down to the basic minimum now.

I don’t know whether the Cinera firmware will continue to be updated from this point. The headset will always work with external devices using the HDMI-IN connection, but it will lose functionality as a self-contained player as the Android OS version it runs on continues to be left behind by all the apps that require newer versions to work.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was at least some activity or communication, but from the outside perspective, Grace is the only active employee of Cinera still working – and her role appears to be focused solely on honouring the outstanding backer pledges (which is something to be grateful for, at least!).

Not sure where this leaves Cinera going forward……?

Luke Toyer

I have been waiting my CINERA since 2017 December last year, but unfortunately December 2018 is still not available. And the most painful part of it there is no definitive time for me to get and I will not get a refund. This company is the most deceptive company I have ever seen in Kickstarter. I regretted contributing my money to this company. @Kickstarter I need a refund of my money. Please, force Cinera to give me a refund. I cannot be denied of Cinera as well as the refund!!

Rabiu Hassan

I appreciate you did it, but just for namesake. And you made money. The cost will never justify the comfort or experience. I usually send extra money to campaign creators if it’s good. I feel a refund demand here. Such poor software, hardware, comfort and experience. I cancelled pimax expecting comfortable experience.

Amigo

Assume good faith?

While we bears are critical, we try to assume good faith. Cinera delivered their first campaign, despite the challenges they faced. This shows that they care about fulfilling the orders, at the very least, even if they end up not being able to fulfil their product feature promises.

That said, the first campaign should have given Cinera ample experience on the potential problems in the second campaign. It seems like they did not learn their lesson and end up with a bigger problem, especially when there are almost five times the backers in the second campaign.

Cinera posted a cryptic message in the Kickstarter comments.

We have problems but we are about to solve them. There’s a reason that I cannot make a public update now. I will tell you everything soon (should be within one week, maximum two). Meanwhile, we are shipping continuously to our backers.

Note how they use a pinned comment instead of an update. Updates go out to all backers. If they posted the message in an update, it would alert other backers oblivious to the issues raised in the comments. Posting a comment helps them to contain the situation, for now.

Stay tuned as we monitor the progress of the campaign and try to understand what is going on behind the scenes.

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