“Interestingly enough,” says Shahriar Afshar, “I’m not a gamer myself. I’m a physics professor.”
Afshar is not of our generation, and as such finds today’s videogames a bit noisy. That said, he understands the gamer’s need to immerse himself in the sound of loud gunfire, rock music, and angry grunting at full volume. So he got to thinking. And boy, did he think.
The Kor-FK is Afshar’s answer to the conundrum. Looking like a set of headphones melting around one’s neck, the Kor-FX is essentially a Rumble Pak (albeit a far more sophisticated, subtle one) that straps onto a gamer and translates what he hears into what he feels. It’s what Afshar is calling “4D… emotional surround sound”.
Afshar says the tech is akin to how the brain would naturally interpret real stimulation. “It feels like Spidey senses,” he says. “It’s like there’s stuff happening somewhere that you can’t even see, but you can feel it happening.” While ‘Spidey senses’ isn’t exactly what I’d call my brain’s natural interpretation of the world, I get the concept.
Afshar is keen on this taking off, too, saying it’s a logical progression of entertainment tech. With all this 3D and motion control going on, I’m willing to be he’s not wrong… as long as we can suffer wearing big 3D glasses, the grandson of the Power Glove, and now this big strappy headponey dealie. “Honey, did you wanna play Wii Sports 5 with the kids? Suit up!”
An interesting thing about Kor-FX is that Afshar notes that it’s compatible with any electronic device with sound outputs. “If you’re not into sappy movies, you will end up crying with this device,” he says. A bold claim. A bold claim indeed.
If you want ever-more stuff to strap to yourself whilst you game, the Kor-FX will be hitting shelves by year’s end for just less than 200 bucks.