Odor Stimulation in Virtual Reality

Odor Stimulation in Virtual Reality
Odor Stimulation in Virtual Reality - Wearable odor generators provide odor feedback in virtual reality. Credits: Xinge Yu

A group of biomedical and mechanical engineers from City University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with two from Beihang University and one from Shandong University, have created two versions of a system for transmitting olfactory stimuli in virtual reality. Nature Communications published their findings.

According to designers and users, although VR systems are becoming more realistic every day, the senses of smell and taste are still clearly absent in the virtual world. Much work has been done on the former and less on the latter, but attempts at both still leave much to be desired.

Aerosols and atomizers have been used in most of the methods created to augment virtual reality with scent. Unfortunately, the addition of such materials makes VR equipment more cumbersome and requires filling and cleaning bottles with overall poor performance. In this new study, the research team used fragrance-infused paraffin as a new technique. A small heating element releases odors.

The first of the team's two aromatic system designs is the simplest. It resembles a Band-Aid with two bags attached. The upper lip is where the patch is attached and it emits two scents. A soft face mask that can release up to nine scents is the second system. In both systems, a heating element is controlled by a temperature-sensing resistor.

With increasing temperature, the odor discharge also increases. The systems contain magnetic induction coils that quickly cool the wax and remove heat from the skin when the flavor is no longer needed.

When the system was tested with a large number of participants and various scents, the response times were determined to be 1,44 seconds on average. As expected, thirty different scents were distributed and none of the volunteers experienced device burns. The team will then focus on the challenge of accurately timing the delivery of scents to ensure a true VR experience.

Source: techxplore

Günceleme: 10/05/2023 20:30

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