Right over at CES 2024, Razer has presented a new chair cushion add-on that makes you, literally, feel your games and music. All you need is to plug it into your PC and let the magic happen. No compatibility list or extra configuration steps are needed.
Dubbed Project Esther, this cushion is a proof-of-concept chair add-on compatible with any chair that can fit its size. It has 16 actuators that vibrate to give you an indication of what is happening around you in games. In other words, a sort of 7.1 surround… but for your skin. Since some brands are already tackling the smell angle, we only need a taste reproduction technology to leverage all our senses without leaving our PCs. What a dystopian world.
But jokes aside, Razer’s prototype is a full-body cushion that fits on most gaming chairs and delivers haptic feedback from games, music, and movies. The best part is that you won’t need compatible games. Project Esther seamlessly integrates with Razer’s Sensa HD Haptics, which simply listens to the audio coming from your game and translates it to vibrations. Basically, if there is sound, you are good.
However, this approach leaves me with two questions. For example, does having a Discord chat activate the effect? And how accurate can it be while only using sound information? A game integration would probably improve the precision, but I am no haptic expert. MechWarrior seems to be the first game to support this cushion. In any case, all of this sounds like a perfect companion to the PS5 DualSense controller.
I also like that Razer went with a mat/add-on instead of building it directly into a bespoke chair. This way you won’t need to shell out for a brand-new seat if yours is still fine. Not to mention that a chair with such a feature won’t come cheap.
While Razer didn’t indicate any price or availability, seeing how the product appears finished, we wouldn’t be surprised if it launches this year.