The sense of smell has been added to the virtual reality (VR) experience as showcased by metaverse-focused companies at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023.
A recent report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company predicted that the metaverse could potentially generate $5 trillion in value by 2030. However, the report noted that metaverse success would need a more developed human aspect that delivers positive experiences to its users. One of these catalysts may be the integration of the sense of smell and touch into VR experiences which were showcased at the recent CES.
As reported by Fortune, one of the firms called OVR Technology showed a headset with a container for eight aromas that can be mixed together, creating various scents. The VR headset is reportedly scheduled to be released later in 2023. An earlier version that was used for fragrance marketing lets users smell various environments from marshmallow roasting to a bed of roses.
According to Aaron Wisniewski, the CEO of OVR Technology, extended reality will soon be integrated with commerce, entertainment, social connection, education and well-being. The CEO highlighted that scent gives these experiences “unmatched power.”
An executive at FireFlare Games, Aurora Townsend, also shared that their firm will be launching a VR dating app that also incorporates immersive sensations like touch, once the technology becomes readily available within the market.
Meanwhile, consumers may not be too excited with the new development. A CES attendee Ozan Ozaskinli, tested some haptics products and highlighted that it’s “far from reality” at the moment. However, the tech consultant also said that it can potentially be integrated into online meetings because, through the technology, users can actually feel something.
Back in 2022, blockchain technology and the metaverse took the CES event by storm. various figures within the crypto space attended the event including executives from the now embattled FTX and Celsius Network. Brands showcased blockchain and metaverse developments through their booths including Samsung, announcing an NFT platform.