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Matt Crosslin

Virtual Reality Companies Continue the March Towards "Full Immersion"

2 min read

Those of us that are old enough remember how movies went through an initial round of "full immersion" experiences - paper 3-D glasses, moving seats, and smell-o-vision. Now that Virtual Reality is catching on (or maybe it isn't?), we now have companies working on full immersion VR. Smells, hot/cool winds, and vibrations are all part of that. Feel Real is offering an interesting all in one device, with a mask that attaches to existing VR devices and a full immersion helmet (all previewed in the video above). The scents cost $5 each (ocean? sure; burning rubber? no thanks), the attachable mask will cost $250-300, and the helmet will cost $500-800. Read Ready Player One to see where this is all probably heading. The Feel Real Nirvana helmet has some SciFi coolness to it, but still looks pretty impractical. My guess is that someday you will see this with a merged reality application to help you walk around more safely, and maybe even an internal camera that will project your face on the outside so that it will have business meeting applications or whatever it may be. The "2001 me" really loves this, but the "2017 me" worries about what could happen to people that could cut themselves off from the real world even more. But like any tech we need to look at ways to keep the human side of ourselves front and center. One plus for Feel Real is that they do have the production tools (mostly free with purchase for now) to add their technology easily to existing VR experiences, putting users more in control.