A very exciting new project has just gone live on Kickstarter. It’s called ARAIG – As Real As It Gets – and it’s a sensory feedback exoskeleton. That’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like – it’s a piece of wearable gaming hardware that quite literally stimulates your physical senses while you play. The implications here seem pretty clear, no?
“Experience the next level of gaming,” reads developer IFTech’s mission statement. “Finally, you get to feel what you’ve only been able to see.” IFTech describes the ARAIG as “wearable technology that stimulates the senses where you, the gamer, can now feel the rain on your shoulders, the rumble of a tank, the concussion of sound and debris; where you are drowned in the sensations and sound of your gaming world.” That’s a hefty promise to make. Can it deliver?
Admittedly, the suit itself looks somewhat absurd. In all honesty, it more closely resembles a piece of sporting equipment more than any sort of revolutionary gaming peripheral. I still can’t shake the fact that the fellow in the screenshots looks more ready for hockey practice than a gaming session.
But we’re getting off track. The hardware consists of three primary components:
The Decoder is a small data transfer device which acts as the bridge between the suit and the gaming platform. Through a process that isn’t yet entirely clear, the Decoder alters data from a gaming device and sends it to the ARAIG suit. It also appears as though different decoders will be designed for different systems; purchasing a decoder will allow any ARAIG rig to connect to that system.