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Virtual Reality May Include Smells With New Gaming Tech

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Olfactory sensor (Credit: Jens Lasthein/Stockholm University)

New game consoles can transform not only your eyes but also your nose into virtual reality.

Developers from Stockholm and Malmö Universities said they had come up with a smell machine, or ‘olfactory meter’, that would allow them to smell in a virtual reality environment.

This research was recently published in the International Journal of Human – Computer Studies.

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The researchers tested the new technology in a “wine testing game,” in which users sniffed wine in a virtual wine cellar and scored points for correct guesses of various aromas.

The game console has 4 different valves, each connected to a channel. In the middle is a fan for sucking air into the tube. Using a computer, players can control her four channels, which can be opened at different angles and deliver different scent mixtures.

“The possibility of moving from a passive sense of smell to a more active sense of smell in the game world paves the way for the development of entirely new smell-based game mechanics based on player movements and decisions,” says Simon. Niedenthal, a researcher at the University of Interactions and Games Malmo said in a news release:

But researchers hope the technology can be used for other purposes.

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“For people who have lost their sense of smell, for example, after COVID-19 or for other reasons, new technology could represent an opportunity to regain their sense of smell with the help of game-based training,” says Jonas of the research team. Olofsson said. Leader, said

Virtual reality—computer-generated 3D environments ranging from stunningly realistic to abstract wonderlands—has gained widespread acceptance over the years, but never really caught on.

The pandemic was supposed to be VR’s big moment providing escape for millions of trapped households. Special headsets and gloves allow people to interact with his three-dimensional environment in 360 degrees, making him appear suitable for those confined indoors. However, consumers preferred simpler, more accessible technologies such as Zoom, Nintendo Switch, and streaming services like Netflix.

But consumers are hesitant to spend on hardware. Headsets cost hundreds of dollars, the same price as video game consoles supporting hundreds of games. Early VR headsets also lacked the games and services that seemed essential, such as his web browser on consumer PCs and mobile internet on iPhones. The weight of headsets, slow software, and nausea-inducing tendencies have also hampered adoption of VR.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.This story was reported from Los Angeles.