When you’re hacking your way through a sweltering jungle in virtual reality, wouldn’t you like to feel as disgustingly hot and humid as your video game character? To smell that distinctive jungle scent? No? Then you’d sure as hell better not pay $US250 for the Feelreal this winter.
The Feelreal is just the latest in a long line of devices that attempt to make cinematic experiences more immersive by torturing you just a little bit. Remember Smell-O-Vision? Or the 3rd Space Vest? Yeah.
In this case, the Feelreal is a big, chunky, heavy accessory you strap onto the bottom of your virtual reality headset. It can blow hot air at your face. It can blow cold air at your face. Hell, it can blow mist at your face. And yes, it can fill your nostrils with one of up to seven stored scents, ranging from “Ocean” to “Metal”. It can also rock your face with a built-in vibrator.
At least the Feelreel’s lips won’t try to cram anything down your throat. That’s just the built-in Bluetooth microphone.
The demo was literally just this video, plus scent/mist/heat/fans on cue
I kid a lot, but I actually kind of enjoyed the experience. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh breeze on a hot day, and I got a little bit of that from the Feelreal. But there’s no way game developers are going to support this niche Kickstarter device, and no way I’m going to dangle this giant contraption off the front of my skull.