Hold on to your butts, Razer’s latest concept product will take you aback. Announced at CES 2024, Project Esther is Razer’s idea of the what the next haptics-enhanced product can be. And that idea is adding haptic feedback to your back, and butt.
Project Esther is a cushion designed to be placed on any kind of chair. The promo images show the cushion placed on top of a Razer Enki Pro gaming chair.
The tech to power the haptics in the Project Esther cushions is called the Razer Sensa HD Haptics. The cushion, or a mat as it’s actually really thin, includes 16 actuators spread across the back and bottom rest, which allows the haptics to also induce positional feedback.
Once strapped (with adjustable straps) and connected (via Razer Hyperspeed Wireless) to a supported game, the cushion will generate haptics enhance the experience of say, playing games.
Mechwarrior 5, the action game where you pilot slow, hefty mechs, is the game demoed to show off Project Esther. Each time the mech moves its feet, one side of the back cushion is vibrating, for example.
The Razer Enki Pro Hypersense have introduced the idea of a haptics-inducing gaming chair can be a cool idea, but Project Esther moves that further by making the haptics be available to apply on any seat.
There are use cases for seat-based feedback. Racing simulators for example would benefit a lot for having extra points of feedback. Race car drivers often say they drive with their butt, as in, the vibrations felt on the seat has a tangible factor in how a driver drives a race car. And games where you technically sit in a cockpit like Mechwarrior 5 can use haptics for extra immersion. The question is, would developers come and support this peripheral. Razer Sensa is said to be a “plug-and-play solution”, in that includes “automatic audio-to-HD haptics conversion”.
This is a concept product, something typical for Razer to show off at CES. So it’s not for sale. But it sure is cool to know that haptics on seats can just be a fancy cushion away, the tech for it is there. It’s a matter how many would be willing pay for a cushion with tiny little butt motors.