Soar Like a Bird With the Oculus Rift…And This Crazy Flapping Machine

Oculus Rift can transport you to another reality and make your feel odd new sensations, but nothing we've seen quite tops this bizarre Oculus-enhanced machine that's supposed to make you feel like you're flying in the sky.

Designed by students at Zurich University of the Arts, Birdly is an installation that pairs an Oculus Rift with an apparatus that blasts sensory stimuli at you to give you the experience of flying like a bird. In addition to the visual and aural sensations that are common to VR, Birdly taps into your physical and olfactory senses as well. In the simulation you're strapped into a weird flapping body suit that measures your movement and translates it to the 3D simulation you're seeing in your Rift. As your speed in the simulation increases, a fan mounted in front of your nose blows air at you faster to give you the sensation of the wind in your face. And as you pass over different landscapes you're exposed to different smells to match the view.

Birdly is an impressive attempt at creating a fully immersive virtual reality experience but as with some of the more compelling VR we've seen before, it looks very uncomfortable, like it might cause you to puke. Not to mention the fact that the physical reality of virtual reality looks creepy as hell. Still, we'd try it if we had the chance. [Birdly via The Rift Arcade via Engadget]