The article, at http://www.engadget.com/...">http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/06/vr-headset-offers-the-sights-sounds-a..., states:
Quote:In an effort to bring the other three senses up to par with sight and sound in the virtual landscape, researchers in the UK have developed a headset that not only offers a stereoscopic display and four speaker surround sound, but throws in smells, tastes, and a fan for heating your grill up (or cooling it down) for good measure. The Virtual Cocoon doesn't look too terribly comfortable (this thing would be burdensome without the required tubes for the user's mouth and nose), but Professor Alan Chalmers of Warwick University doesn't seem to think this is a problem. If anything, the team is betting that you're going to welcome the opportunity to smell your co-workers when telecommuting, or your fellow cybernauts when running around Second Life. The device, which will have an estimated cost of APS1,500 (around $2,100), should be ready for production within five years.
Since video games often tend to use all available means to create realistic situations, I suspect that they will be among the early adopters of this technology. The article specifically mentioned Second Life, but I suspect that games like World of Warcraft would also likely support this as well.
This is a somewhat different approach from anything else that I have read about so far in terms of trying to create a more immersive virtual environment. The other systems either dealt only with the two main senses (i.e., sight and sound) or bypassed the sensory organs to access the brain directly (e.g., see the Brain">http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/4933]Brain control headset for gamers, Second">http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/4361]Second Life Gets Brain Controls and Sony">http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/2071]Sony invention beams sights, sounds into brain threads). My primary concern, as usual, is that these types of gadgets will make the video games even more addictive, especially to those who are susceptible to that, and harder to stop playing if they should choose to do so.
- John O.
[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)