The metaverse has the potential to be an amazing place, to live experiences perhaps impossible for real life. To this end, a group of researchers from the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences is developing an air mask that makes breathing an additional element in interaction with virtual reality environments.
The AirRes mask, that’s its name, and it came out last month and according to the description of the article about the study, the idea of the mask is to monitor your breathing to use it as an element of interaction with the virtual environment, without being limited by hardware. In this way, the mask can help communicate information about the environment you are in virtually, such as adverse environmental conditions, a fire, and more.
AirRes is designed to be compatible with VR headsets and has the quality of being mobile and wireless, to allow greater freedom of movement for the user.
Another element present in the model is breathing resistance, that is, the mask is capable of restricting the user’s breathing capacity to provide immersion in virtual space, depending on the conditions that may influence it. The study emphasizes that this should not be done in a way that is detrimental to users, as the idea is not to completely seal off airflow. As a safety measure, the AirRes can be easily removed if necessary, and the breathing resistance is removed if there is a loss of connection to the software.
AirRes Mask: A Precise and Robust Virtual Reality Breathing Interface
One of the situations highlighted in the video above is the Firefighter Obstacle Course, which is a fire simulation where the user explores a building and puts out the fire. With the mask, users experience greater immersion in harsh environmental conditions.