A new frontier of immersion awaits you with a device that fires the smell of games into your home

Designers of gaming gadgets have tried for years to make something that will take you to new heights of immersion. Spatial audio, VR, and haptic triggers will only take you so far, though, because there’s one sensory input that no game tackles: Your nose. Well not anymore gamers, because with the new GameScent unit, you’ll be able to literally smell grass as you roam the fields in Skyrim.

We picked up news of this…umm…thing over at Dexerto and the response around the office ranged from ‘Dear Lord, no thank you’ through to ‘We have to review one!’ Essentially, the GameScent appears to be an automated aromatherapy type of device, containing six scent injectors that blast a combination of smells into the air, depending on what’s happening in your game or movie.

It’s done by tracking the audio feed, sending it off to a server for analysis (“Powered by AI”), and then one or two seconds later: Poof! Your nose will join your eyes, ears, and hands in giving you a scent…sorry, sense…of what’s going on. Events that involve explosions, guns firing, vehicle racing, clean air, forests, and storms will activate the smell-o-feedback.

If that’s not enough for you, additional pongs can be purchased to include situations that involve napalm, human exertion, oceans, and *check notes* golf courses. No, that says EXERTION. Read more carefully in the future.

To be serious for a moment, olfactory experiences in games and films have been attempted many times over the years, but it’s always been a pretty unpleasant experience/gimmick. Partly because what’s an accurate smell for one person can be an overwhelming experience for someone else, but mostly because the air around just isn’t full of one smell, unless it’s an extreme situation.

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The premise does sound like it could be quite cool, though. Just imagine walking through the lands of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, with the open fields and fresh air filling your nose, only to detect the hint of sea in the distance, as you near the shoreline. It would certainly add a certain edge to the gaming experience.

How well the GameScent works in practice is another matter entirely and if we do ever get one in for review, we’ll certainly let you know. But if you’re US-based and want to try it out yourself, then you can pick up the device at Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy for $150.

Everyone else will have to make do with opening a window and getting a neighbour to rev their car engine, while you exert yourself in some way.

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