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Can We Smell in the Metaverse?

Our senses are pivotal to our existence, and it’s challenging to fathom life without them. Among our five senses, one stands out as a significant contributor to our overall life satisfaction – our sense of smell. This sense plays a crucial role in memory, influencing 75 percent of our daily emotions. Olfactory receptors transmit odors to the olfactory center in the limbic system.

The limbic system, responsible for our emotional life, is intricately linked to memory formation and retrieval from autobiographical memory. Given that the olfactory system resides in our brain, it is closely associated with our psychological state, memory, stress, and focus. Research conducted at the University of Toronto highlights that memories triggered by scents are often more emotional, vivid, and intense.

Our sense of smell enhances our experiences in unique ways. Whether savoring the aroma of delicious food or inhaling the fragrance of a blooming flower, we have the ability to make our lives more beautiful by appreciating these sensory moments.


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Can We Smell in the Metaverse?

Until now, the transfer of our senses to the digital realm has been confined primarily to sight and hearing. Technologies enabling us to smell things like perfumes or the sea have been absent from our experiences. However, there is a recent surge in studies focusing on bringing the sense of smell into the digital domain.

Innovations such as Essence Chip, Scentee, VR Sense, and an electric scent machine developed by Malaysian researchers are aimed at enhancing the integration of scent with the digital environment.

Numerous brands, including those in the perfume and coffee industries, actively support technological advancements in this unexplored field, recognizing its considerable commercial potential. For companies aspiring to lead in the metaverse domain, a substantial focus on this technology is imperative.

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The digital transmission of the sense of smell is vital for individuals to have more authentic experiences in the virtual world, and it even holds the potential for people to inhabit a virtual existence, as often depicted in science-fiction movies.

Major technology companies, such as Microsoft, may also be considering acquisitions of other companies working in this field, a highly plausible scenario.

I am optimistic that significant strides will be made in the digital transmission of fragrances by 2030. It appears that a future awaits us where technology seamlessly combines with all our senses.


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