Jun 09, 2021 | Vanshika Kaushik
Virtual Reality is being used extensively these days in virtual events, schools, 3D gaming, and for navigation in the army. VR allows people to interact with the 3D environment through goggles, smart gloves and headsets.
VR is a computer generated world that has opened new doors in every field. It has enhanced the learning process. VR tricks the brain and stimulates the visual senses to believe that the alternate reality is real. Now VR headsets will be able to stimulate the smell. VR Aromatherapy will soon help people to meditate in a relaxing environment through the indirect exposure with strong smelling natural oils.
A VR startup platform OVR Technologies introduced Architecture of Scent, a virtual reality program to build the olfaction(sense of smell) in virtual reality. Architecture of Scent uses a combination of hardware, software and scentware to stimulate memory and emotion.
Architecture of Scent will allow people to create a virtual reality world that will be authentic to them. People can use the VR headsets to delve into the blissful world of fragrances. The sweet smell of perfumes, the smell of beaches and the burning smell of fires. The users will get a chance to experience these smells through the new technology.
Smell is directly related to memory. After passing thalamus (paired grey structure located in the centre of the brain) smell reaches the brain’s smell centre known as the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is connected to the amygdala (part of the brain that is involved in the process of experiencing emotions) and hippocampus (complex brain structure responsible for learning and memory). The connection with amygdala and hippocampus enables the brain to recollect memories through smell.
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VR Aromatherapy can help people suffering from depression and anxiety to relieve stress. As it is not always possible to visit a clinic for aromatherapy, the new technology can help people to meditate from the comforts of home.
FeelReal, an immersive technology company, also uses the power of smell in Virtual Reality. FeelReal’s sensory mask stimulates different types of natural and relaxing smells that help people to meditate and relax.
According to FreeThink Aaron Wisniewski said, "Smell...plays a critical role in human motivation and behavior.” "That makes it an extremely important aspect of outcome-oriented VR experiences and especially relevant as an affordable and scalable tool to enhance access to integrative health, mental health, and wellbeing management."