Think of a scene where you are walking through a forest in spring breathing in the wonderful smell of flowers. Now picture a scene of you walking through a field of corpses and the rotting smell of flesh.
Both of these could be in any VR experience but would you want to smell it?
Feelreal VR Mask
Startup company called Feelreal is betting you do and has created a virtual reality mask and helmet that lets you smell virtual environments. The company claims its devices stimulate both the olfactory (smell) and tactile (touch) senses
The Feelreal VR Mask fits somewhat awkwardly over the lower half of your face and optionally mounts to the bottom of a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift. The device includes an "odor generator" that takes seven removable "smell cartridges," which vaporize a mixture of perfumes to create an appropriate scent for the game you're playing or the movie you're watching.
The basic set of smells includes; jungle, flowers, ocean, burning rubber, fire, gunpowder, and aphrodisiacs. But Feelreal will be allowing orders of a number of other predesigned smells as well as custom-made smells for an additional $300 and can describe the smell in detail.
The Mask also includes micro-coolers and heaters that generate a sensation of heat or wind and a couple of haptic motors for force feedback as well as an ultrasonic ionizing system that makes it feel like tiny water droplets are striking your cheeks.
Nirvana VR Helmet
The Nirvana VR helmet which looks scarily like the device from 3D Head includes a high-resolution smartphone display and a 3D audio system, plus a slot that the mask slides into. The high-end model called the "VIRT" steps up to micro projection and fabric lining for greater comfort.
All models connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to the digital entertainment source device. The mask should last around four hours of continuous use and helmet should manage six hours without a recharge. The helmet also comes in three head sizes in either white or black color options.
Feelreal is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production and further work on the development kit and early consumer versions. If you want to "smell" your game as well as experience it then the software development kit start at $250 while the prototype helmet will cost $500 with expected consumer version costing $600.
Do you want to smell your game? If so let us know in the comments below. I think it may be great for a D&B type environment but not for my own house.
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