How companies try to bring smells to the metavers

How companies try to bring smells to the metavers

Can you imagine watching a movie and being able to smell what’s happening on the other side of the screen? This is what companies are developing with a focus on immersive and metaverse virtual environments. This field of innovation has been called OVR, short for olfactory virtual reality technology.

The company OVR Technologycreated with the aim of making it a reality, invests in the development of IONvirtual reality glasses preloaded with nine chemical compounds, which combine to produce hundreds of aromas, released using digitally programmed signals, according to information from the FastCompany website. The goal is to release a consumer version in 2023.

“Smell has a profound effect on who we are, how we feel, what we do, what we buy, who we love. It is essential that the perfume is part of the development of the metavers … o we are completely limiting the potential, “says Aaron Wisniewski, the general manager of the company.

The process, however, is complex and complicated, Wisniewski notes. “Unfortunately, there is no RGB smell,” says the executive, referring to the system of primary colors (red, green and blue) used as standard in televisions, computers, cameras, among other devices.

How would the glasses work?

The company wants to develop a plug-in capable of upgrading the glasses system to make them compatible with the Unity and Unreal visual graphics platforms, widely used in game development by major studios and also by independent developers.

Smells would integrate into the physical object and be felt by the user while immersed in metaverse environments.

In Los Angeles, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder experience OVR odors through virtual reality exposure therapy treatment in the labs of the Institute of Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, according to the company.

These odors are especially difficult to reproduce; to recreate the smoke from weapons, for example, it is necessary to imitate sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas of illegal manufacture. “We need to find an alternative solution using analogous but safe molecules to use,” says Wisniewski. “Smell is this chaotic molecule soup.”

Other projects

Technology OVR it is already being used in therapeutic settings. An example is the ascending new York, a substance abuse clinic that costs $ 3,500 a day. It offers patients guided meditations through the inhale welfare.

This platform was launched in November 2021 and transports users to a natural environment, emitting bursts of 0.1 millisecond odor compared to virtual reality interactions, according to the report.

In the UK, there is OW Smell Digital, which has raised $ 1.2 million to develop an AI-based, cloud-accessible Photoshop for Smell.

In Spain, Olorama Technology has developed a library of 400 aromas (fragrances include “refiteria”, “mojito” and “wet earth”) distributed through odor release boxes, many of which can be activated by voice by the user.

A covid-19 test odor kit is also available. The luxury product of Olorama, a unit of 40 aromas, starts at 13,408.00 US dollars (R $ 65,602,64,60).

Another product in the “digital perfume” market is the one developed by Hypnos Virtual based in Arkansas, USA. The company has a nebulizer connected to the hardware, pre-loaded with odors collected through a cold diffusion process to maintain the purity of the ingredients.

Software combines aromas, from data inputs, and releases them at selected times, chosen by artificial intelligence.

Despite the innovative aspect, behind every budding company is the legacy of startups from the past that suspended similar projects.

Feelreal funded a multisensory virtual reality mask, for example, and it was acclaimed in 2015. However, it stopped working in 2020 (partly due to vaping laws with gusto), leaving behind a number of dissatisfied investors.

The Vaqso company in Tokyo is another example. He raised $ 600,000 in 2017 for a combination of cartridge and fan to reproduce odors. But he hasn’t updated his site in years.

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