first_imgAs the gaming industry moves along, it continues to tackle adding the five senses to the medium. It’s now had motion control so precise, that we quickly grew bored of waving around our 1:1 virtual tennis rackets. The Oculus Rift is attempting to bring pseudo-VR to the household for a relatively cheap cost. Smell-o-vision, though it doesn’t exist as any kind of major (or minor) peripheral, has been successfully attempted here and there throughout the industry’s life in form of a unit that releases scented oils. The realm of taste has been thankfully left untouched. Though the industry has provided very basic tactile feedback via vibrating controllers and peripherals, there isn’t yet any device that allows us to really feel our games. A new Kickstarter project, the ARAIG suit, is attempting to bring us those very feelings.The occasional haptic feedback suit has been attempted before — notably the Aura Interactor, essentially a subwoofer in a backpack — but the consumer market hasn’t been able to, for example, walk through the rain in a game and feel the patter of raindrops on their shoulders. The ARAIG — standing for the somewhat on-the-nose As Real As It Gets — suit aims to deliver a multi-sensory experience that a booming base in a backpack never could.The suit is composed of three main parts. Residing in the suit, the Decoders receive information from a game, then translate that information to an appropriate corresponding feeling, which in turn is sent off to the Exoskeleton. The Exoskeleton is the bulk of the suit, and with the Decoders’ information, creates all of the appropriate feelings on your body. It also houses the majority of the components, including the removable battery pack. The Sim Skin is an aesthetic customization option for the suit, so you can look fashionable while gaming and don’t necessarily have to wear a drab black ARAIG.The ARAIG is promising three different types of sensory feedback. The first type of feedback is surround sound, but since it’s coming from the suit, it follows you wherever you move. It aims to make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the audio action, since you literally will be. The second form of feedback will be a host of vibration systems that cover most of the torso and upper arms. The third feedback system, STIMS, is made up of what is essentially that machine you see in informercials that claims to work out your abs for you. You hook diodes up to your muscles, and little stimulations cause your muscles to automatically contract and relax. This kind of system will provide more sophisticated feelings that a host of vibration sensors couldn’t, but in conjunction with the vibration units could create a new sensation.A pledge of $299 is the minimum pledge that would nab you an ARAIG, but at the time of writing, all 100 slots are already taken. The next step up, to a pledge of $325, will net you the same ARAID unit, but without the cheaper early-access fee. If you’re interested in feeling like you just got shot by a bunch of a bullets while playing video games, head on over to the Kickstarter campaign page.last_img

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