Does A Nosulus Rift And Guess What Smells You?
Virtual reality has already mastered the two of the five senses, sight and touch. Now video game developer Ubisoft is seeking to give the virtual world a third sense – the sense of smell. Perhaps nobody to try in any way though.
The Next Web notes that Ubisoft has developed the Nosulus Rift as an accessory to its upcoming South Park game, South Park: The Fractured Yet Whole, which features farting as a gameplay aspect – a tool that will give you the eye-watering experience of hearing real-life farts from the game.
Forgive the joke, here, but please unpack it.
My first question was how precisely that technology should work. Will the mask burst open tiny stink bomb micro-capsules according to game-sending signals? Or does it use the odorousness of the average South Park fan against him — a gas mask attached to a giant rubber diaper that directly pipes into his or her own nostrils the smell of a player's escaping flatulence? This method will make a lot of sense, according to the first cosmic law of farts-he who melts usually deals with it. But who would buy an apparatus like this?
No-one when it turns out. Ubisoft apparently acknowledges that the Nosulus Rift has limited consumer appeal, and so the headset will go on tour instead. Gamers at this month's Gamescom, the world's second-largest gaming festival, will be able to try it for themselves.
Have been with Gamescom? I did. But let me tell you one story before I get to that. And I want you to put all of this in perspective.
And, a few years ago, I was faring the worst I've ever done.
And, a few years ago, I was faring the worst I've ever done. I wasn't sick or anything, but my spontaneous expulsion was so smoke-like and pungent that it caused my friend, who is blessed with a strong sniffing system, to throw up instantly – as it takes for a light bulb to illuminate a dark room. She later compared it to the stench of a forgotten chicken parmesan sub when she described the smell that her college boyfriend had once accidentally left for six months in her microwave, when she finally opened the door to discover it in horror.
This is exactly what Gamescom looks like, I assure you. And let me just say something to you. If I were at Gamescom, I would happily put fart gas mask on Ubisoft's licensed South Park suit. That a mouthful of Cartman 's virtual butt biscuits will be a true breath of fresh air compared to the stench of 183,000 gamers tightly squeezed into an ill-ventilated convention-hall.
Senior Design reporter for Fast Company, everyone! Good evening.