It's that time of year when those of us who're not super-organized start thinking about holiday gifts for friends and family. Today I have a gift for the gamer in your life: the Woojer. Credit where credit is due, I was unaware of this product until I saw Ben Kuchera's post about it on Polygon.
The Woojer is a device that basically translates bass into vibrations, letting you feel the action in your games. (It's not limited to games of course, you can use it for movies or music as well.) Here's the teaser video:
The Woojer sits between you and your sound source. You plug your headphones into it (they need to use a 3.5mm plug), and run a cable from the Woojer to your audio source. As the audio runs through the Woojer it detects bass sounds and turns them into haptic feedback.
You wear the Woojer either by using a belt clip or by an included magnet. You put the magnet on the inside of your clothing and the Woojer on the outside and it just clamps on. Here's another video to show you all the ways you can wear the thing:
I'll refer you to that Polygon article for some hands-on opinions but Kuchera seemed pleased with the device, though he does point out that if you prefer a wireless headset (or room speakers) then the Woojer isn't going to work for you.
The Woojer is $100, which feels a little high to me but hey, 'tis the season and all that. There's also a Woojer Extreme package that bundles two of them for $179 with the idea that you wear one on your chest and one on your hip to increase the Woojer sensation. I bet you could also just share the second one with a friend.
Woojer started as a Kickstarter project that was looking for $100,000 and raised $143,000. In other words it was a success but not a runaway success. I think the challenge the company will have now is convincing people to spend $100 on something that produces an effect that the consumer hasn't experienced. I can't really tell you what the Woojer experience is like since I haven't tried one. It's the same challenge that makers of 3D devices have had in the past, and VR manufacturers will have in the future.
Here's one last video; this one is their Kickstarter pitch video where they try to convey what Woojer does.
The best I can do is quote Kuchera who described the Woojer effect like this:
The effect is similar to the feeling in your chest when you're watching a good fireworks display, or when you're sitting in a revving car. It's a tiny device, but it fools your body into thinking something big is happening around it.
That sounds pretty cool to me. I may have to start dropping hints for my family to find.