Vermont based tech startup OVR Technology wants to revolutionize the way people experience VR by adding a new side: scent. OVR Technology is planning to make VR more realistic.
“It’s a mix of art and science,” said Sarah Socia, Scentware Formulation at OVR Technology. The device delivers little bursts of smell at just the right time, so when a person is exploring a digital world and pick a rose, he or she will smell a rose. Or when they are by a computer-generated campfire, they can scent those roasting marshmallows.
“A unique scent can just bring up and evoke memories and emotion, transporting a person back into a time and place, or be able to evoke different feelings like happiness or excitement just based off of the sense of smell,” Socia explained.
It may remind readers of Smell-O-Vision, the 1960s film that sent fragrances floating toward the audience at key moments in the plot, OVR Technology wants you to think again in the same line. “It is really important to us that this is not a cool thing or a gimmick.” “The federal government is among the start-up’s early customers.” CEO Aaron Wisniewski told NECN and NBC10 Boston.
The idea behind is that odours, including repulsive ones, will help specific areas like the healthcare, firefighting, military to create digital training conditions that keep a participant deeply immersed.
OVR Technology is also working with researchers from universities to learn how this could be an element of therapy for trauma victims, with fragrances used to trigger positive memories which can be relaxing or shape behaviour modification.
Entertainment applications may be down the road, too, for the company. “This is just the start for us,” Wisniewski predicted.