Virtual reality is the buzz word for the start of 2015, and there is at least one company that thinks moving pictures are just not good enough. FeelReal has the idea that VR is ready for the added experience of smells and wind effects, and is preparing to sell a VR headset add-on that will do just that.
The FeelReal mask is a large chunk of metal that clips on to select VR headset models, and provides an added layer of realism through an array of ports. This includes tiny fans to produce wind, an ultrasonic ionising system to create water mist, an air heater, and an odor generator. It also bears a slight resemblance to a medieval torture device.
What is interesting about FeelReal is the odor generator, which contains a cartridge that produce the desired scent. It currently has seven unique smells, that are ocean, jungle, fire, grass, powder, flowers, and metal. These smells will be accompanied by the appropriate wind and atmospheric effects to make them feel even more real. For instance, the smell of fire (whatever that actually means) will include hot air being aimed at the users face.
If that isn’t enough immersion for the user, the FeelReal also has a vibration engine. It is not clear what this is meant to simulate, but it is likely to function in the same manner as a game controller and vibrate when the player is hit. Of course, this will only be slightly more annoying when one considers that the vibration engine is strapped to the user’s head.
The FeelReal development kit is due to ship in the summer of 2015 and retails for US$249.99 (about RM922). The mask doesn’t have it’s own VR display, and will only work when attached to the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony Morpheus, or Zeiss VR One.