Bring Games to Live with Virtual Cocoon
Article by George Norman
On 06 Mar 2009
Ever since we posted the Guinness Top 50 Games of All Time, and announced Nvidia has released graphics cards drivers especially designed to work with Windows 7 (the OS itself has been fitted with 3 new built-in games), you could say the topic of gaming has been on our minds. But not just any type of gaming, where you sit in front of your monitor so caught up in the action that passers by think you’ve turned into a zombie. I am talking about taking the virtual reality and making it tangible.

A group of British scientists from the Universities of York and Warwick aim to do just that – bring the virtual reality closer to us – and what they’ve come up with is Virtual Cocoon. As you can see from the pictures at the end of the article, Virtual Cocoon, at first glance, looks like a funky bike helmet. But it is much more than that; it allows you to see, hear, smell and even taste virtual reality.


Here is what I am talking about. A human being possesses 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The first four are covered by technology in Virtual Cocoon: high-definition screen for sight, surround sound for hearing, various chemical mixtures delivered via tubes for smell, and different flavored chemical mixtures sprayed into the user’s mouth for taste. There is even a heating unit and small fan in the back to regulate the temperature and humidity, thus making for a more realistic experience.

University of Warwick WMG, Professor Alan Chalmers explains: “The idea is to produce a portable virtual reality device that you can use in the comfort of your own home. This will be a huge step forward in comparison to today's virtual reality devices. Combining the use of all five senses will make the experience feel totally real - it will be unlike anything previously available.”

The downside is that Virtual Cocoon is not yet ready to hit the market – according to its developers it will take them about 5 years until they can publicly release it. Even when it comes out, not many of us will be able to afford it as it will go for about £1,500 (over $2,500).

Tags: Virtual Cocoon, Gaming, Virtual World
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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