July 22, 2024


Imagine getting a whiff of dewy freshness – à la fresh-cut grass — while trudging through the wilderness within your favorite triple-A game.

And then suddenly, without warning, an enemy hops out behind a tree. Pew, pew, pew! A gunfight ensues and you can smell the acrid aroma of smoke.

The team behind GameScent, an AI-based device that emanates scents that corresponds with the on-screen gameplay, gave Mashable a whiff – pun attended – of how the aroma-emitting gadget works in action.

GameScent matches smells with your gameplay

The GameScent team fired up Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series S. As they navigated the wilderness during the gameplay, the hexagon-like device emitted a mist — a scent that called “Forest.”

GameScent demo with Far Cry 6

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

I didn’t smell the aroma right away. However, after the aroma pervaded the spacious hotel room, I smelled a faint whiff of earthy, woodsy scent — as if I was sniffing a mossy, dewy growth on a tree.

Next, the Far Cry 6 protagonist stumbled upon an enemy, prompting him to arm himself and engage in a shoot out. A steam-like puff appeared, diffusing a smokey, metallic scent throughout the room.

At first, I wished that the smells were more potent. However, the demo was hosted inside an expansive room. Plus, the more I ponder it, the more I realize that a scent that’s too strong could become nauseating after some time. In other words, the scent definitely hit my nose, but it was subtle. That being said, you could increase its potency by moving GameScent to a smaller, more contained room — or you could simply move it closer to you.

Gunfire scent for GameScent

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

You may be wondering, “But is this safe? Do the scents consist of ingredients that are harmless?” The answer is yes. The scents are basically essential oils designed to match popular scents gamers would experience in gameplay — and they’re FDA approved.

How does GameScent work?

GameScent, priced at $149.99 via Amazon, ships with the following five scents:

  • gunfire

  • explosion

  • racing

  • storm

  • forest

According to its Amazon listing, GameScent is working on several new scents: ocean, zombie, blood, big city, and fresh-cut grass.

GameScent emitting a puff during gameplay.

GameScent emitting a scent during gameplay.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Plus, it comes with an “air neutralizer” scent that, as the name suggests, clears the air by neutralizing scent molecules. This can be manually triggered by the user via the GameScent companion app. (You can also use the companion app to trigger any scent you want if you’re craving a particular smell.)

As such, altogether, GameScent comes preloaded with six swappable cartridges.

GameScent companion app on an iPhone

GameScent’s companion app
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It’s also worth noting that there’s a minute-long cooling period between scents, ensuring that there aren’t too many scents firing all at once.

But the question is, how does GameScent “know” which scents to trigger while playing your game? To put it succinctly, it uses an deep-learning AI tool that analyzes your game’s audio and deduces which scents to trigger based on the sound it “hears.” The GameScent team said that the device works with an accuracy of about 85%, give or take.

GameScent can work with almost any gaming console

GameScent ships with an adapter that has HDMI input and a 3.5mm analog input (for PCs), allowing it to have complete compatibility with almost all the gaming hardware on the market. This includes gaming laptops, Xbox Series X, PS5, and VR headsets.

GameScent adapter

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

I asked if GameScent works with the Apple Vision Pro, however, and for now, the answer is no, but that could change as the team gets better acquainted with the $3,500 headset.

The GameScent team said that this device, for the first time, allows gamers to experience all five senses while gaming. In addition to audio-visual stimuli from your monitor and gaming headset, you can experience haptic feedback from your controller (e.g., PS5 DualSense).

A look inside the GameScent box

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

And finally, with GameScent, you can smell your way through your favorite games. On top of that, scent can activate your taste buds, which is why this device can hit all five senses for total, complete gaming immersion.

GameScent emitting a scent during gameplay.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon

I plan to review the GameScent device myself to test how well the AI can map the audio to its scents for some of my favorite games, including Hitman 3 and Dishonored. Stay tuned!


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