October 20, 2022
Demonstrate the potential of adding scents to virtual reality (VR), researchers led by Stockholm University recently created a “wine tasting game” in which the user smells wine in a virtual wine cellar and gets points if their guess about the aromas of each wine is correct.
The researchers hope their open-source technology can not only elevate game development, but extend virtual reality technology to other areas, such as commercial applications like retail.
Adding scents to virtual worlds was explored soon after the first virtual reality headsets arrived in the 90s, but a number of startups have recently gained attention for experimenting with the technology. With skepticism of the metaverse drawing, some believe that virtual reality must go beyond only sight and sound.
“It is essential that the perfume be [part of] metaverse development. . . or we completely limit the potential,” Aaron Wisniewski, CEO of OVR Technology, a Vermont-based scent-based virtual reality technology Start, said recently fast business. “Smell has this profound effect on who we are, what we feel, what we do, what we buy, who we love.”
Smells are thought to have a stronger connection to memory and emotion than any other sense. According to a study According to the Marketing Society, approximately 75% of all emotions felt are generated by what people feel rather than what they hear or see.
Recent studies have further linked loss of smell due to COVID-19 to depression and anxiety.
For veterans and some skeptics, infusing scent into virtual reality is reminiscent of Smell-O-Vision, Hollywood’s failed attempt in the late 1950s to incorporate scents into movies.
In a recent article for Wired, Jude Stewart, author of “Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell,” writes that while scent VR technology has become more “compelling,” challenges include limits on the number of scent cartridges per headset. He advises a slow approach.
Mr Stewart wrote: “Inserting scent into virtual reality can distract, overwhelm or repel. But used sparingly and designed to fit the right context and coordinated with the other senses, playing with the sense of smell – even distorting it – can make a strange world feel more human.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What would adding scent to virtual reality technology mean for retail? Does the metaverse need scent to succeed?
“Candle makers, A&F and many other concepts have realized the power of scent to drive shopper demand. Virtual reality will follow.”
“…absolutely it will add a lot more realism, along with other components that will eventually include all of the senses. And retail IS a sensory experience.”
“Let’s get real-time inventory just before we start getting excited about the world’s best lasagna you can’t actually eat.”