Technology

You will soon be able to smell the metaverse – including virtual FARTS

A METAVERSE without smells would be like living in black and white – and the bad ones like body odor and farts matter too.

So says a sensory scientist who is pushing the boundaries of virtual reality to a whole new level.

People who can smell virtual objects

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People who can smell virtual objectsCredit: OVR Technology
Flowers and fire are among the things you can sniff in the virtual world

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Flowers and fire are among the things you can sniff in the virtual worldCredit: OVR Technology

VR and the metaverse have largely focused on sight, hearing, and touch, but taste and smell are often forgotten, largely because it’s so complex to achieve.

But a company called OVR Technology found a way to bring smells into the virtual world that could eventually lead the way into the virtual world metaverse also.

And for a truly multi-sensory experience, it shouldn’t just be all those wonderful smells like roses or food, but also the unpleasant ones that we tend to avoid in the real world.

“For me, living in the world of fragrance, all smells are interesting, even bad smells, and they have a function,” Aaron Wisniewski, CEO of OVR Technology, told The Sun.

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“They all have a part – smells are human.

“Of course fart smell, you could be pranking someone.

“But there are also really interesting, worse smells with a higher impact.”

For example, his team worked with a researcher on a program called Brave Mind that uses smells to help war veterans PTSD.

Aside from VR, horrible smells like blood, feces, urine, burning hair and smoke are used to help them in their recovery.

“All those awful smells are memory triggers, you can use them in a therapeutic setting,” he said.

“We’re only scratching the surface of what can be done with this technology.”

But he doesn’t think the Metaverse will be just about recreating existing smells, it will also invent new ones.

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“All smells are interesting, even bad smells,” says scientist Aaron Wisniewski, leftCredit: OVR Technology

“We have to reinvent what smell is, what the smell of space is and lasers and monsters and all these interesting things,” he continued.

“So instead of shying away from the bad smells, we’re figuring out what smells we can create and who we can work with to make a measurable positive impact.”

Among the more pleasant scents the four-year-old company has developed are mindfulness experiences that allow users to choose from natural settings, like a waterfall or a beach, where they can reach for scented spheres.

The clever technology works with a cartridge that is plugged into the front of the VR headset and releases tiny scent particles when you approach the respective virtual object with invisible geometry.

So when you walk up to a rose, you start smelling it – and the closer you get to it, the stronger the scent becomes.

Wisniewski — a self-professed “mad scientist” who has long worked on everything related to smell — said smells are key to the metaverse because they have a massive subconscious influence on memories, emotions, and motivations.

“I think a lot of the people who lost their sense of smell during Covid can confirm, ‘Oh wow, it’s really important,'” he said.

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“And a lot of people who have lost their sense of smell describe it as being detached from reality, like black and white or behind a pane of glass.

“I would hate for the metaverse to resemble that sentiment, collective digital anosmia.”

A small cartridge with scents wrapped is attached to the VR headset

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A small cartridge with scents wrapped is attached to the VR headsetCredit: OVR Technology
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8726679/smell-fart-metaverse-virtual-reality-ovr-technology/ You will soon be able to smell the metaverse – including virtual FARTS

Fry Electronics Team

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