We’ve seen accessories that deepen the immersive factor in games before: realistic rifles, reactive vests and other clever tech that usually appeal to sight, sound and touch. The ScentScape, however, takes immersion to a whole other level, bringing the smell of the game world to your olfactory senses.
Created by ScentSciences, the device can plug into the USB port of your PC or console, unleashing fragrances that recreate how the in-game scenes on your screen are supposed to smell like. The games will have to support the device, though, triggering the specific smells via code (development kits are reportedly being sent to developers this month).
The ScentScape is a USB peripheral measuring 3.5 x 4.25 x 5.5 inches, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find space for on top of your gaming desktop or right next to your console. Scent is generated using refillable cartridges, each of which comes with 20 different fragrances (which can be mixed, depending on the odor the game’s aiming for) that can last around 200 hours of playing time.
Personally, I’m skeptical about how much more immersive this “innovative digital scent delivery system” can make gaming. I imagine it will be fun, though — save for the fact that the perennial smell of gunpowder in the living room probably won’t go over well with the other people you’re living with.
The PC version of Scentscape will come with software that allows you to insert scent controls in your home videos, too, an awesome-sounding feature that can get people actively using the peripheral. It’s due for release in the fourth quarter, priced at $69.99.