Virtual reality and the rise of the metaverse have changed many things in applications. While the use of these technologies has focused on our three senses—sight, hearing, and touch—scientists and researchers are continuously working hard to bring the sense of smell into online communication. After years of experimenting and innovating, a new technology called digital smell is now able to allow users to experience smell in the virtual world.
What is Digital Smell?
Digital smell, also known as digital scent technology or olfactory technology is a technology that combines both software and hardware to stimulate and represent smell in digital form through the internet. In other words, digital smell is an innovation that allows people to transmit, reproduce and recapture smell and fragrance virtually without being presence near the source of the smell.
The Science Behind Digital Smell: How Does it Work?
Fundamentally, a digital smell makes use of sensor, algorithm and software to produce the needed scent.There are two ways of producing a digital smell.
Firstly, by using sensors to recognise and analyze the chemical composition of specific scent. Subsequently as sensors detect this unique chemical combination of scent, it will transmit signal to a computer to generate a corresponding digital representation of the scent. Secondly, through simulation. Simulation involves the use of data obtained from studies on how human olfactory system-the receptors reacted to molecular structure of scent. This data is then used to create algorithms that can produce digital representations of different smells.
In order to emit the scent being produced, digital smell requires devices such as diffuser or dispenser. By connecting these devices to the computer, the scent can be released and experienced by users in a virtual environment.
The Future of Digital Smell
The development of digital smell technology has opened up new possibilities for online communication and interaction. While it is still in its early stages of development, the applications of digital smell technology have high potential. As more research is carried out and more practical applications are discovered, digital smell will one day become normalized in our daily lives.
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