Until now, we are still sorely disappointed by Google’s decision to scrap their Project Ara concept. Sources claim development already progressed far beyond prototypes, but there were factors in play that eventually prompted the company to sweep it under the rug. The unique selling point was the modular nature of the device, which seems to have been incorporated into the feeel.

Before you get your hopes up, take note that this so-called “haptic handheld game console” exists only as a concept. Submitted by University of Applied Sciences Potsdam student Jasmin Kappler as an undergraduate thesis, it’s just quirky enough for people to take notice. The design somehow reminds us of the Panic Playdate sans the crank and with parts you can swap out when needed.

The aesthetics alone begs you to pick it up and mess around with whatever it brings to the table. As such, you’re probably asking what the feeel is doing differently from all other handheld gaming devices out there. Although it’s not immediately obvious at first glance, what we have here is a hybrid system that can be played as a regular handheld or as a tablet.

What looks like a fancy carrying handle doubles as a kickstand to prop up the display in various angles in tabletop mode. We’re not entirely sure if the detachable gamepad uses mechanical means or powerful magnets physically connect with the main unit. Nevertheless, the feeel is equipped with six magnetic slots for a variety of swappable interface accessories to enhance gameplay.

According to the creator, it is designed to give players an immersive experience via touch and force feedback. Think of it along the lines of Sony’s DualSense controller for the PS5. However, the feeel takes it beyond nuanced vibrations and adaptive triggers. Take your pick from dials, knobs, scroll wheels, switches, sliders, analog sticks, and more. Let’s hope it eventually becomes a crowdfunding project in the future.

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Images courtesy of Jasmin Kappler