Editor’s note: It wouldn’t be CES week without Razer’s crazy concepts. The company delivered Project Carol again, but this year’s out-of-the-box offering was much tamer than what we’ve seen in past years. Maybe that means it’s actually going to be a real product?
Project Carol is a gaming chair accessory—a headrest, to be exact—with near-field surround sound speakers and high-fidelity haptics. Combined, Razer says it can help gamers experience a new level of immersion.
Razer says the Project Carol will work perfectly with any PC capable of 7.1 surround sound output and is compatible with all gaming chairs thanks to its adjustable straps. It connects wirelessly via 2.4GHz and lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge.
Razer believes that traditional surround speaker wiring can be messy and installation requires additional space that some gamers may not have. What’s more, an audio receiver or control box is usually required to decode the rear channel signals, the company added.
Does Project Carol have any chance of becoming a real product? It’s hard to say. The concept isn’t “out there” like we’ve seen in previous years. Remember Project Sophia (the all-in-one modular gaming table) or Project Linda (which aimed to bridge the gap between laptops and smartphones)?
Project Carol does have some distinct advantage hurdles. Gaming headsets are all the rage, and don’t play well with surround-sound-enabled earpads. What’s more, the idea of having my head vibrate through haptics seemed a little disorienting. Razer would certainly allow disabling this feature at will, but I can’t imagine a situation where I would actually want it.
I doubt Razer will evaluate the feedback before deciding whether to proceed with production. Pricing may be key, as I suspect few people are willing to pay more for a pad than traditional headphones or even a chair.
What do you think? Interested in something like Project Carol or are you happy with your current game audio solution?