In order to feel real, things should be perceived with more than just our eyes. The FeelReal mask means to change the way we sense virtual reality by bringing olfactory and tactile stimulation to the table.
FeelReal Inc., the developers of this VR helmet, felt that virtual reality wasn’t that convincing if all you got were visual stimuli. Sure, VR systems that allow users to walk or feel the wind have been created, but that just isn’t enough for most of us. What good to see a rose in VR if you can’t stop and smell it? The FeelReal VR mask is looking to solve precisely that problem by getting more senses involved, for an overall more immersive experience.
Just in case you are not happy with using the FeelReal VR mask with any of the virtual reality headsets available on the market today, you can always opt for the Nirvana VR helmet made by the same company. The resemblance to the Daft Punk helmets is uncanny, but that may be just me.
The developers have described the VR mask as follows:
“FEELREAL is a revolutionary multisensory VR mask that lets you step into the most immersive, unbelievable and fascinating virtual experience you’ve ever known. It will transform your virtual reality forever. With its incredibly wide range of smells and simulated effects of wind, heat, water mist, and vibration, FEELREAL maximizes your virtual reality presence. It allows you to explore virtual worlds using a new, more powerful sensory effects.”
In the following video, the manufacturer implies that the VR mask or helmet could be used both for watching movies and playing games. Come to think of it, there aren’t many other applications for VR apart from that, are there?
To make the jump from a simple concept to reality (and not just the virtual one), FeelReal is looking for funding on Kickstarter, where it needs to raise $50,000 before May 28. Dev kits of the VR mask go for $250, while the consumer version is $300. The VR helmet, on the other hand, requires backers to pledge $500 for an early prototype version, or $600 for an early consumer version. Provided that the campaign meets its funding goal before the deadline, the FeelReal VR masks and the Nirvana VR helmets will be shipped starting in July, depending on whether backers have opted for prototypes or consumer versions.