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VR, they say, gives us the full experience of the situation we’re in.
What everyone relies on the most, in order to fully experience a particular situation, is primarily the sight. There are many examples of glasses that give high resolution and precision. The next feeling that includes the VR experience is the touch. Gloves are refined constantly in order to give user the best tactility. New models of gloves, as well as glasses, are still in the process of improvement.
However, there is another sense that gives a special task of creation, and that is the sense of smell.
The smell is the only sensation that is directly related to the amygdala, part of the brain closely involved in our feelings, meaning that scents can be particularly evocative of powerful emotional memories. Many of us have had the sensation of catching a whiff of something that takes us back to a particular time, place, and emotional state – something impossible in current VR.
By adding the smell in the VR, the user is given a better presence and existence in the situation.
However, to make the smell is not such an easy task. Sometimes it happens that different smells are mixed and create some completely new. In moments of surprise, in which we do not have an image that we can associate with a particular scent, it is difficult to determine what is at stake and conjure it at all.
Feelreal managed to create a mask that gives certain scents, like lavender, mint, rubber. In this way, you can stand next to an orange tree, and in fact feel the smell of it.
The holy grail of VR smell research is a basic ‘palette’ of smell components that could be mixed to make thousands of other odors like a headset screen that can create any color from a few basic ones. But this will be a considerable scientific challenge. For now, small steps are being taken to achieve this goal.