The real-world is filled with all kinds of smells, but the current virtual worlds are utterly devoid of them. To change this, a Vermont-based tech startup called OVR Technology is working on scent technology for virtual reality.
“What we wanted to do was, as accurately as possible, recreate how we experience smell in the real world in the virtual world,” explained Andrew Wisniewski, OVR’s CEO and co-founder.
The startup has developed a plug-and-play device that’s compatible with all existing VR headsets and VR content thanks to a universal software plugin. The device hosts a cartridge that fits over the nose and contains different smells, which are released based on the virtual content experienced by the user.
Right now, OVR Technology’s scent device is used for therapeutic purposes and to improve the preparedness of first responders.
The therapeutic application of the company’s scent technology is called INHALE, and it’s delivered as a plug-and-play system that comes with an olfactory headset, preloaded with wellness experiences and scent cartridges to match.
When used to enable more effective training of first responders, the scent technology helps bridge the gap between conventional training and real-world application, helping trainees create a kind of emotional and psychological memory to stop them from feeling overwhelmed by unpleasant smells.
While still in its infancy, the scent technology developed by OVR Technology can unlock the potential of virtual reality to produce better experiences and more potent results across multiple industries and use cases, as the startup proudly states on its website.
In the near future, the same technology could be used to make virtual reality games, movies, and other content feel more immersive.