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The PA Report - Woojer allows you to “feel” the sound in games and music, opening doors for VR appli

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin

imageThe PA Report - Woojer allows you to “feel” the sound in games and music, opening doors for VR applications

We’ve seen products that use vibration to add immersion to games before, and they tend to be slightly underwhelming. Neal Naimer of Woojer claims that their product is different, and the Woojer hardware does sound very interesting for a number of reasons, including its possible impact on virtual reality hardware.

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  • zogrezogre Registered User new member
    edited November 2013
    I've backed what I feel to be a lot of kickstarters (more than 20), and only two have delivered on time, several have flat-out failed to deliver as promised. 2012 was a year of Kickstarter evangelism for me, but in 2013 it became clear to me the honeymoon is over with the system. 2014 will be my year of "wait till they deliver, and pick one up at retail". I wish them (and you) the best of luck with the project, but I'm waiting for retail.

    zogre on
  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Sounds like a really high tech masturbatory aid. *rimshot*

    In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure headphones with bass boost have this kind of thing built in. I have a set that vibrates when it senses low frequencies. I'm not entirely convinced putting one of these on my chest will greatly improve my listening experience.

    Gungan on
  • BananamousBananamous Registered User regular
    I'm skeptical. Sounds like a lot to promise for one (or two) small points of vibration. Still, I'm also hopeful, and excited to hear Ben's first-hand experience with the device. Let us know how it goes when you get yours, Ben!

  • TiberiusEsuriensTiberiusEsuriens Registered User regular
    Seems pretty dumb to me as it's essentially just a rumble pack on your chest. When I see an explosion in game I never think to myself, "Self, what would make this more immersive is the ability to feel sounds on my chest." If someone truly wants to increase immersion I would go the route of temperature control, but anything past the visual effects of the Rift is REALLY gimmicky. The last thing VR needs is more rumble packs, smell-o-vision, sense-o-vision, heat vision, etc. The only time VR will be truly immersive past visual cues is when we can plug our brains directly into a computer.

  • BrinkmanBrinkman Registered User regular
    Woojer buy it? Based on that commercial? No.

    It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. -Thomas Jefferson
  • SomeguitaristSomeguitarist Registered User regular
    I'm with everyone else down here. I have headphones with a battery powered 'Bass Boost' that I can feel. I don't know how much having a mini subwoofer on my chest is really going to add to the immersion. And honestly, I'm *really* curious how with all your press clout you didn't get to try the system yourself yet. That just screams to me that it's not entirely as great as promised. The article pretty much now goes 'It's amazing, it's amazing, I haven't tried it.' Had they been able to change that last sentence you'd probably have a lot more people willing to purchase.

  • wormspeakerwormspeaker Objectively Terrible Registered User regular
    @GUNGAN Six months after they release there will be a pink version shaped like a flattened egg for placement near a lady's fun parts.

  • SomeguitaristSomeguitarist Registered User regular
    Hahaha. That totally reminds me of this;

    image

    Spoiler Alert, slightly NSFW. I mean, it's from a cable show 'The Whitest Kids You Know' but there's some swearing, etc.

  • drunkenpandarendrunkenpandaren Slapping all the goblin ham In the top laneRegistered User regular
    The next iteration of Game Boy Color technology is here! The Shock'n'Rock 2: Shock Hard, Rock Harder.

    Origin: DPPandaren
    Steam: pandas_gota_gun
  • D_K_nightD_K_night Registered User regular
    EVERY TIME something like this comes out, the *first* applicable possible will always be precisely, what we would imagine it would be. There's got to be some Internet rule for devices like these.

  • gacbmmmlgacbmmml Senior Web Developer IHG.comRegistered User regular
    @ZOGRE: I'm in the same boat regarding Kickstarter shipping estimates. I wrote an extensive blog post with graphs about my KS experience here: http://hello.wordpress.com

    Noah (girls are cute, but monkeys make me laugh)

  • dayoshdayosh Registered User regular
    Hrm. Not really sure what to think about it, really. I suppose something of this kind of a smaller size wouldn't pose much of an issue; I'm more concerned about if /when they start creating larger and/or more powerful models. Anyone who has ever stood on a sidewalk while a parade comes through, or has stood /sat next to a massive speaker at a club or a concert knows all too well the feeling of the sound waves hitting your body /chest cavity. My concern would be if a model becomes so powerful (or even if this particular model is powerful enough) to pose any sort of potential threat to cardiac function. Wouldn't want someone to slip this puppy on only to go into arrest. O.o;

  • GG CrewGG Crew Registered User regular
    Last I checked (and I've "checked" it a lot!), Captain EO doesn't need a doodad like this to enable guests to feel the bass... Quite the opposite, in fact - I find many theme parks (not just Disney) crank their audio to the upper limits of aural safety. I'd rather have earplugs than something that accompanies/enhances the loud sounds.

    I could see this used with headphones, however. There's something awe-inspiring about a good, low rumble that you feel in your chest more than you hear it. Assuming, of course, that the $60+ device actually works as advertised.

  • MygafferMygaffer Registered User regular
    Color me one skeptical dude.

  • IshanjiIshanji Registered User regular
    Calling the Woojer "a rumble pak you strap to your chest" is like calling the Oculus Rift "two tiny monitors you wear on your face." The Woojer may add a comparatively minor amount of immersion, but the entire concept of immersion is to integrate more of our senses into our gaming experience. Even seemingly small features like the Woojer's can make a difference when crossing the uncanny valley between fantasy and reality.

    Imagine you're playing a VR boxing game on a gamepad. It could be pretty gripping, but how much better would it be if you played it with fist-mounted motion controls (that are better than the garbage motion controls we've got now)? And what if, on top of that, you also had body-mounted rumble paks that responded to where you were being hit? I'll concede that it might feel weird to get "punched" and have it feel less like a punch and more like having a tiny tumble dryer sitting on you, but I'm not convinced that it would be worse than feeling nothing at all.

    This may seem minor and gimmicky now, but we'll see who's laughing when every video game is played inside of a full-body suit + helmet equipped with all sorts of gadgets to convince you the experience is real.

  • PeelingPeeling Mr UKRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Mmm. I think calling it a 'rumble pack' of any sort, or talking about boxing games, is missing the point. Rumble packs just, well, rumble. An explosion goes off, the controller buzzes in your hand. Drive over a rough bit of ground, you get some randomised shaking. It's tactile feedback provided by someone who's had what's happening described to them.

    That's not what this thing claims to do. It isn't trying to introduce a separate, parallel tactile input; it's not about physical impacts. It's about augmenting the existing sonic experience. I don't care how good your headphones are (and I have some pretty darn good ones) or how dangerously loud you crank them, they can't make your diaphragm rattle the way a stadium concert will. Very, very few people have the gear (or a gaming room sufficiently large or sonically tuned to hold the bass wavelengths) to pull that off, and even if you do, it's going to be a pretty antisocial way to game.

    This device promises (may not deliver, but promises) to fool the brain into perceiving the 'in your head' sounds of headphone audio as genuine external sonic events. That definitely sounds interesting. Not "I'm going to kickstart it" interesting, personally, but interesting.

    Peeling on
    Play Clamber for free now on Android! Download it here!
  • AntihydrogenAntihydrogen Registered User regular
    Cool idea. WAAAY to expensive for what it does. They list that the retail price is expected to be $99, and you can get it for 69$ if you pledge early. My goddamn iPod didn't cost 69$! And frankly, there's no way I can afford this.

    Hopefully, they'll release a cheaper version eventually with lesser features (bulkier, made of cheaper material, whatever the hell.) for those who aren't rich. Actually, even if they did, I can probably DIY a version of this. Sure, it'd be a bit bulkier than is ideal, but hey - I'd really only be using this at home.

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