You might have caught a glimpse of the Feelreal mask prototype when it made headlines back at GDC 2015, the smell-o-vision add-on for VR headsets that promised to bring plenty of scents to your nostrils and haptics to your face. Feelreal is one big step closer to becoming real, as the campaign reached its funding goal within the first hour of launch on Tuesday.
Update (April 11th, 2019): Feelreal was asking $20,000 to fund its scent/haptic VR headset mask when it launched on Kickstarter April 9th. Within one hour, the campaign was officially funded, and then went on to nearly quadruple its goal within the first day.
At the time of this writing, the campaign is sitting at nearly $89,000; that’s not a whole lot in terms of funds needed for product design and delivery, although the company is confident it will be able to deliver to backers in August 2019.
The campaign is set to conclude on May 10th. No stretch goals have been announced yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see what’s next. A few free scent modules, which retails at $50 per 10-pack, wouldn’t be a bad start. The original article announcing the Kickstarter follows below:
Original Article (December 26th, 2018): Feelreal contains what the company calls a “scent generator” that holds replaceable cartridges with nine individual aroma capsules, generating scents such as burned rubber, gunpowder odor, lavender and mint.
The company however is planning to provide a storefront of different 255 scents so users can mix and match as they please, all of them designed by Kiev-based perfumer, olfactologist, and perfume critic Bogdan Zubchenko.
“We’ve chosen distinct scents that accurately simulate the atmosphere of games and movies. Feelreal aromas are safe to inhale and are similar to those used in the food industry,” the company claims on their website.
The unit also incorporates a few haptic devices including an ultrasonic ionizing system for water mist, micro-heaters for heat sensation, micro-coolers for wind, and haptic motors for vibration.
Feelreal is designed to fit Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR, Oculus Go and Gear VR, and connects to the headset via Bluetooth or WiFi. The unit, which comes in white, grey and black, attaches to VR headsets via magnetic mounts that allow for easy removal and scent replacement. An on-board battery promises four hours of battery life.
The company is advertising out of the box support for games such Skyrim VR, Beat Saber, and Death Horizon, as well as their own catalog of experiences called Feelreal Dreams that highlights the mask’s various features. Users will also be able to watch 360 videos with the Feelreal player and experience supported videos, the company says.
There’s no word on exactly when the Kickstarter is due to arrive, although early adopters can now sign up for updates on the company’s website, and receive what the company calls “a substantial early bird discount” when the crowdfunding campaign goes live (see update).