The research group Sensory Cognitive Interaction Laboratory at Stockholm University and Malmö University has, with funding from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, developed new technique which makes it possible to feel scents in a vr environment.
The technology uses an odor machine, or “olfactometer”, which consists of four different valves connected to each channel. The four channels can then be opened to different degrees to provide different scent mixtures.
The first game produced using the technology is one wine tasting game where users can smell wine glasses in a virtual wine cellar and then try to identify the scents they smell. The game has several levels of difficulty based on how complex the scent is.
– We hope that the new technical possibilities will lead to scents having a more important role in game development going forward, says Jonas Olofsson, professor of psychology and leader of the research project at Stockholm University, in a press release. The researchers also hope that it may result in other uses in the future.
– For those who, for example, lost their sense of smell after covid-19 or for other reasons, the new technology can mean an opportunity to regain their sense of smell with the help of game-based training, says Jonas Olofsson.
All code, drawings and instructions for the machine are available openly available online, as well as code for the virtual wine tasting game.
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