The Innovation Awards at CES 2022 were given to this terrifying-looking invention, which was recognized for its innovation. Wearers can currently experience 30 different sensations thanks to the device’s ability to interface with games on mobile, PC, console, and virtual reality platforms, with more sensations on the way, according to the device’s creators.
To be fair to Owo, the vest doesn’t just cause discomfort; it can also make you feel like you’re free-falling or driving at 100 mph, and you can even receive virtual hugs through the vest. However, you may also experience sensations that are similar to being stabbed, shot (including feeling the exit wound as the slug departs your body), or even bitten by an insect as a result of the experience.
Fortunately, there are controls for reducing the intensity of (and even turning off) each sensation – so if you prefer your video games to be painless, you can keep it that way while still experiencing a deeper level of immersion in the game.
That being said, despite the fact that this Owo shirt appears to be extremely frightening, we are eager to put it through its paces with every sensation dialed back to a reasonable level. While the best virtual reality games have done a good job of immersing us using only sight and sound, we expect that our digital surroundings will feel less virtual than ever once a third sense is introduced into the mix.
We also anticipate that the vest will alter our mental approach to compatible virtual reality games.
Anyone who has played laser tag knows that while it is a lot of fun, it also encourages a carefree attitude because at the end of the day you will be able to return home without injury, even if your score takes a hit when you are shot.
However, if you then transition to a game of paintball, your attitude will shift completely. Painful paintballs can be inflicted depending on how and where they are fired – and the slight fear you are instilling in yourself encourages you to play in a different manner if you want to return home without being injured.
In the same way, even if the Owo Game vest isn’t going to be inflicting that much pain, we expect it to elicit enough fear in us to approach our virtual reality experiences in a different way than we might otherwise approach a round of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer.
Owo hasn’t announced a price or a release date for the Game vest just yet, but we’re hoping to get our hands on one when we attend CES in a few weeks.