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Feelreal is offering gamers a chance to “smell a digital world” with its multisensory VR mask. And yes, it’s April 3, no bamboozle… maybe. I’m not entirely sure. The Brooklyn-based company has announced it will be taking to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to fund its facial apparatus on April 9, with early adopters managing to net themselves a 33% discount off the device’s $299 price tag.

The device slots underneath most popular VR headsets, covering a user’s mouth and nose. Once equipped, the virtual reality augmenting face mask is capable of generating smells, mist, cool or warm wind, vibration, and even “punches”. I’m not entirely sure I want that last one, but it’s sure to make for a pretty immersive gaming experience, I suppose.

Kitted out with “an impressive selection scents”, Feelreal are offering Aroma sets for specific gaming experiences. Most notable among the lot is its Skyrim VR aroma set priced at $50, complete with wildflower, forest, moss, patchouli, electricity, burning wood, barbecue, dragon, mountains, and cookie scents. Please, please, please let this be real…

Here are a few of the other scents soon to be available:
  • Baby hair
  • Barn
  • Cowberry pie
  • Circus
  • Gun grease
  • Medications
  • Mold
  • Railroad
  • Fish
  • Smoked fish
  • Stockfish
  • Zombie
  • Explosion

“We have worked extremely hard for several years to prepare this product for Kickstarter and full-scale manufacturing,” says Gary Mostovoy, CEO of Feelreal. “To make Feelreal a reality we went through many tests and iterations. Now we feel extremely proud that we finally have the opportunity to break the boundaries of what was thought possible and introduce new dimensions to our favourite medium. We are focused and determined to get every little detail right”

Feelreal scents

And a quick check on the US Patent and Trademark database turns up a patent, filed by Mostovoy, for a ‘virtual reality system with enhanced sensory effects’. It seems like Feelreal is the real deal, after all.

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Here’s a brief excerpt from the patent abstract:

“The video stream or the video game code has a plurality of inserted markers indicating feel-real sensory events corresponding to the content of the video or the video game. A feel-real player reads the markers and triggers the events, including a stream of warm or cold air, a water mist (or a spray), vibrations and various smells.”

Feelreal exploded diagram

I’m really hoping there’s some way I can get my whole face into this device and test it out for myself. After all, it’s ideas such as this that crowdfunding was made for.

If you’re just as intrigued as I am, the kickstarter page won’t go live until April 9 at 11am EST, but you can find all the details over on the Feelrealwebsite.

Source: Sniff dragons, zombies, and electricity in VR with this multisensory mask