Published on June 22nd, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
OVR Tech Creates Virtual Reality Experiences With Scents
Virtual reality has made great strides in reproducing experiences that can “fool” our senses of sight and hearing. Reproducing smells and touch is another story. Gergana Mileva reports at AR Post about a new technology innovation that emits timely and contextually appropriate scents in virtual reality. The brain does a lot of work with all of our senses to provide presence in real life. Replicating that is a huge challenge in VR. Innovators will continue to try ideas that produce scents, haptic interactions and more to get us closer to, well, reality.
Photo source: Scentware ION
OVR Technology, a virtual reality startup, recently introduced the Architecture of Scent platform. It layers real-world scents to a digital space, giving users a truly immersive experience. Whether for gaming, education, or therapy, setting up higher-quality experiences makes the technology more effective for users.
We interviewed Aaron Wisniewski, CEO and co-founder of OVR technology, to learn more about its first-of-its-kind scent experience.
Unlocking the True Potential of Virtual Reality
There’s a reason why a whiff of salty sea air and sunscreen might bring up happy, safe childhood memories by the beach. Olfactory sense is one of our more powerful senses. Its direct connection to the limbic system in our brain makes it so.
“Presence, or the feeling of truly being there, is critical in an effective virtual reality experience,” Wisniewski expressed. “Our sense of smell is the key to unlocking presence and with it, the true potential of VR.”
OVR Technology harnesses the power of our olfactory system to make VR immersive. In creating Architecture of Scent, they sought to bring out the positive real-world benefits of VR. Whether its applications are in healthcare, education, or training, scent experiences enable users to achieve better outcomes.
The Technology Behind Virtual Sensory Experiences
Having innumerable odor molecules in the environment, which have never been reproduced before, developing Architecture of Scent proved to be an engineering challenge. According to Wisniewski, they turned to nature for inspiration. In doing so, they identified the three fundamental components of their scent experiences.
First, they built a now-patented hardware, called ION. It mimics how scent is produced in nature. It emits the precise amount of scent at the exact moment. Specifically, it can produce 0.1 to 20-millisecond bursts of scent. However, unlike existing olfaction technologies, it only produces scent when it is desired.