Feelreal invents 'smellovision' for virtual reality

Battery-powered masks emits scents to tie in with VR experience
Publish date:
vr smellovision.jpg

Virtual reality has been a major headline-grabber for the past week, but one company at GDC is taking it in a rather unexpected direction: right up your nostrils.

Tech company Feelreal has invented a form of 'smellovision' for virtual reality users in the form of a mask that emits scents appropriate to whatever's happening in the game, according to The Verge.

The battery-powered mask attaches to the VR headset – demonstrated at GDC with an Oculus Rift – and connects to the game via Bluetooth. 

The device features a range of functions designed to create realistic feedback for the player, including small heaters, air coolers, misters and a vibration engine. It also features a lip-shaped microphone for voice-activated games.

The main feature is the removable cartridge which offers seven smells depending on what is happening in the virtual world: Ocean, Jungle, Fire, Grass, Powder, Flowers and Metal.

The Verge has written a playtest of their experience with the device. It sounds a little uncomfortable, to say the least.


virtual reality-1.jpg

Is it now or never for virtual reality?

With consumer versions of leading virtual reality headsets finally on the horizon, James Batchelor looks at the expectations and pressures VR devs face – and asks whether 2016 really is the year that virtual reality succeeds