The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Adding more senses to the virtual reality experience

We’re all familiar with using  3D techniques and image replacement to enable a virtual reality experience.


Recently there has been a focus on haptics or  touch to enhance virtual-reality (VR) experiences. But the sense of smell is rarely a factor. I came across this story of a group of researchers at the University of Tokyo is working to integrate the sense of change an individual’s perception of taste.


They were able to trick people who were eating a plain cookie into thinking the cookie was whatever flavor they selected. The group is making use of the fact that taste is affected by what we see, hear, and smell, as well as the texture of the food, among other things.



"We are using the influences of these sensory modalities to create a pseudo-gustatory display," says Takuji Narumi, an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo. "The aim is to have subjects experience different tastes through augmented reality by only changing the visual and olfactory stimuli they receive."


I can’t think of any business applications right now, but it does make me wonder about other uses.


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