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Feelreal – The Sweet Smell of Virtual Reality

The Feelreal Sensory Mask aims to allow users to smell their VR experience

Feelreal – The Sweet Smell of Virtual Reality

In previous posts, we’ve discussed how we see the future of VR shaping up. Although we love virtual reality as it is, we know there’s so much more to come from the technology. The quest is always to find something that offers deeper immersion; better screens, fewer wires, haptic feedback, and better graphics.

One element we didn’t mention was that we wanted the experience to be… smellier. Of course, the olfactory sense, the sense of smell, can be just as evocative as sight and sound. This is why the team over at Feelreal are developing a sensory mask that will allow you to smell the virtual worlds you explore.

Olfactory Technology

The Feelreal Sensory Mask is perhaps the most sci-fi looking piece of VR tech we’ve seen. It reminds us of the headgear worn by Star Lord or Kylo Ren. Inside the mask lies a ‘reliable scent generator’ which houses a scent cartridge full of nine different aroma capsules. Together, you can combine any of the 255 scents available in the Feelreal store. This allows you to tailor your smell experience based on the type of VR content you’re consuming.

Inside the mask lies a ‘reliable scent generator’ which houses a scent cartridge full of nine different aroma capsules.

The scents combine natural aromas that are safe to inhale, similar to the ones used by the food industry. They can be relaxing, such as the gentle scent of lavender, or realistic, such as the gunpowder of a battleground. Each of the wide range of smells is designed by olfactologist and perfumer, Bogdan Zubchenko. With over 20 years’ experience in the smell industry, he’s concocted some memorable aromas for the headset.

Connectivity and Compatibility

According to the Feelreal website, the sensory mask will be compatible with a wide range of VR experiences.

It uses a wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection and magnetic mounts to attach to the headset.

This includes games such as Skyrim VR and Beat Saber, as well as experiences such as Feelreal Dreams and YouTube VR. A series of free mods from the Feelreal library will allow you to enhance these titles, adding a new dimension to your VR immersion.

FeelReal 360 Smells
The FeelReal 360 Unit

The company promise support for many different headsets, including the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Go. It uses a wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection and magnetic mounts to attach to the headset. It will come in white, grey, and black, to match your existing headset.

Release Date

As well as providing an aromatic experience, Feelreal claims that their technology adds other immersive features. An ‘ultrasonic ionizing system’ replicates water mist, while micro-coolers and micro-heaters simulate wind and heat. Built-in haptic motors mean that vibrations will give you force feedback.

All this sounds impressive, but there is no news yet on a release date.

All this sounds impressive, but there is no news yet on a release date. The company aims to bring the project to Kickstarter, which means we don’t expect to see or smell the device any time soon. However, we’re certainly excited (if a little sceptical) at the prospect. You can sign up on the Feelreal website to stay informed about developments and receive a ‘substantial discount’ when it hits Kickstarter.

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