File this one under “just crazy enough to work.”
A Kickstarter has started up in Canada for a “multi-sensory feedback suit” to use while gaming. ARAIG (As Real As It Gets) aims to heighten immersion in games by offering haptic feedback and sensory stimulation through 40 pads that vibrate or stimulate specific areas of the body, allowing you to feel exactly what’s happening on the screen. On top of that, there’s a proprietary surround sound system in place to really thrust players into the midst of whatever game they’re playing.
The team claims that it will work with “any console or peripheral and any genre or game.” I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work out personally, since it seems to me that the developer would have to program some code with the ARAIG specifically in mind if it’s going to live up to its full potential. However, I’m not claiming to be anywhere near knowledgeable enough to answer those questions.
The Kickstarter has 24 days left to reach its lofty goal of $900,000, and at the time of writing has raked in just under $76,000. Backers will have to pledge at least $299 to get an ARAIG suit of their own if the campaign succeeds, but low level backers will still have an integral part in the unit’s success as they’ll be asked to give steady feedback to the production team. The ARAIG team has gone as far as to say that they have an expectation that backers will be involved in making this a success.
I remember a similar product that used a vest for haptic feedback way back in the N64 days, but it was an abysmal failure back then. Hopefully the guys at ARAIG can back up what they’re saying, because I’m already dreaming of using this alongside an Occulus Rift headset for the virtual reality system of my dreams. Based off of the Kickstarter, they seem to have everything in place. I really can’t wait to see these out in the wild.
Check out the campaign for yourself, and climb aboard the hype train.