Ever since it’s inception, Virtual Reality has plunged up in leaps, and sometimes several leaps at a time. In what can prove to be another such leap for the world of Virtual Reality, it is now going to be all ‘smelly’. Now before you infer anything from here, let me put this straight, it’s something great.
We all know, the experience is what Virtual Reality is actually all about. The experience of the user is what drives VR, and enhancing this user experience is just what ignites its growth. And VR is going to witness a major breakthrough with a new addition to this experience. It’s the sensation of smell.
Many Japanese startups, as well as well-known companies who deal in Virtual Reality, have come up with technologies to incorporate ‘smell’ in the virtual space. Though the fusion of smell with user experience has a fairly long history, it is for the first time that it is being incorporated with Virtual Reality. Scientists have been mooting with the idea for a while now, and the things have just begun to take shape. It is for the first time that the big break is actually taking place.
A Tokyo-based company, called Vaqso, has designed an odor emitting attachment for their VR headsets. This product is of just the size of a candy bar and provides space for up to three different kinds of odors. It also includes a fan that can change the intensity of the smell based on what is happening on the screen. Vaqso plans to collaborate with the advertising, movie and games companies to incorporate its scent technology into their varied products. And as the things are going, it would not be any difficult from here. Using a simple plugin designed by the company, the collaborates can program their products that will, in turn, instruct the Vaqso device to release a scent at certain moments, in certain amounts at the run time.
The experience could be something like this – If you pass through a seafront while playing a video game that is lashed with this device, you would probably smell the sea and feel the mist! Amazing, wouldn’t it be?? I can already imagine it all happening!
Tecmo is another Japanese video game company, who are working on virtual reality for some time now. In their latest advent, they are also going to introduce the sensation of smell to their video games. They have named it ‘Xtreme Sense’, and literally it is!
While these few companies are the flagbearers of this latest scent technology, it is mushrooming all through the VR space quickly. Meanwhile, these companies have no plans to launch these amazing products outside of Japan as of now, traveling to Japan for a taste (or rather smell) of it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all!
Or rather wait for a couple of years. It’s happening in India, and it will happen soon!