You can smell in VR?


Photo via FLICKR under the creative commons licenseCanva design by Nathan Hennen

Young man testing new VR technology at a tech convention.

Stockholm University and Malcolm University have created a technology that allows you to smell in VR.

This new technology is called an olfactometer and allows VR users to smell what they are seeing whether they are in a game or watching a movie. The first use of this technology was used in a wine-tasting game where you smell wines, guess the type of wine, and get points if your guesses are correct. 

“We hope that the new technical possibilities will lead to scents having a more important role in game development,” says Jonas Olfofsson, the leader of the project.

As exciting as this new technology is for video games and VR, it also serves other purposes. 

“For those who, for example, lost their sense of smell after COVID-19 or for other reasons, the new technology can mean an opportunity to regain their sense of smell with the help of game-based training,” says Olofsson

Smell training is a common exercise encouraged by doctors for those who have lost their sense of smell after being sick. With the help of VR, this exercise can now be fun!

Video games as we know it have always been comprised of moving images on a screen which only stimulate one sense of the human body, sight. But with the big strives that have been made in VR technology, more human senses are being stimulated which makes VR extremely more immersive. With more senses being stimulated, video games and VR are coming closer to becoming a second reality.