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This New VR Headset Features A Snorkel-Like Attachment – To Simulate Environments With Limited Air Supply

Researchers from Salzburg University have developed a peculiar device called AirRes. It has a snorkel-like attachment, which can control how much air you can breathe. 

It can be used to make VR scenarios more realistic with a restricted air supply like in a smoky environment a firefighter. 

It can also be used for VR games that require you to use your breath, such as inflating a balloon or blowing out candles. 

‘The AirRes mask enhances virtual experiences and has the potential to create more immersive scenarios for applications by enforcing the perception of danger or improving situational awareness in training simulations,’ the researchers wrote in their study

The researchers used a medical-grade gas flow sensor, attached to a mask with an adjustable air valve to make this device.

It was trialed on 12 participants as they experienced various scenarios in VR, like inflating a balloon or blowing out candles. 

Markus Tatzgern, the study leader, explained: ‘[Our system] was precise, it didn’t have any motion artifacts and it allowed us to really measure the inhalation and exhalation of users to create interactive applications that use breathing as input.’

For example, during a game that required a participant to inflate a balloon, the researchers could adjust the passage of air as the VR balloon grew bigger. They were also put in a virtual smokey setting. The mask restricted the airflow as the participants got closer to the fire. 

According to New Scientist, one participant said the exercise helped them to better understand what it was like to be a firefighter. 

In 2017, VR porn company CamSoda launched a mask that delivers smells to the virtual reality experience, providing users with immersive aromas while watching porn. 

Meanwhile, users can choose from a range of smells to pump through the mask, including ‘private parts’, ‘body odor’, ‘fragrances’, ‘panties’, ‘aphrodisiacs’ and ‘environments’.

When the cartridge containing the scent is heated, the aromas are pumped through the mask, enhancing the user experience massively.