A Kickstarter campaign for a device that blows wind on your face to give you a more immersive VR experience has achieved it’s complete funding goal within a few hours of launch.
Reminiscent of 4D cinema experiences that blow wind in your face to give you a more immersive 3D experience, the ZephVR (opens in new tab) straps to your VR headset and blows wind on your face in moments where you’d have a windy face in the game.
It’s clear why the device gained its funding so quickly, with glowing tester reviews like this one from Siamak F:
“I've been lucky enough to test a prototype and I can confirm it does add quite a bit to the experience.”
Feel the wind blowing through your...teeth?
At time of writing there are still 30 days of the Kickstarter campaign left, so even though its goal has been met, it’s a good chance for you to pre-order a ZephVR if you want to enhance your VR experience. And, given that the campaign is so fresh, there are still ‘early bird’ discounts for both the Valve/Rift version and the PSVR version.
And all jokes aside, it does look like the ZephVR would enhance the VR experience. By using an algorithm (shown in the video below), the device can determine moments where you would normally feel the effect of your world moving around you, like sudden acceleration in a vehicle or something flying past your face.
You can see the code on the left turn from red (no wind) to green (windy) at the appropriate moments. While it's easy to poke fun at, we do think it'd be fun to try one, and see if it does improve the VR experience.
The idea of an enemy firing something at you and really feeling it whooshing past you is appealing, and was used as an example in one of the more effusive tester comments from Jon N:
“I heard an arrow whiz by my left ear and for the first time, I could actually feel it. I was so startled I almost ran into the wall. This is what VR is supposed to feel like.”
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Via RoadToVR (opens in new tab)