Researchers from the Chinese universities, Beihang University and City University of Hong Kong, have developed an accessory that they claim could enable VR experiences to include smell. It involves small scent capsules that could be installed in a VR headset or attached directly under a user’s nose.
When the user attempts to smell something in a VR experience, the capsules would release odors corresponding to what the person is smelling in the VR world. In the video clip below, you can see an example of how it could work. The researchers have developed two different versions of their accessory: one that can emit two different scents and one that supports nine different scents.
The researchers behind the scent accessory also suggest that it could be used in so-called 4D movies, which incorporate an additional sensory dimension. Typically, this involves the sense of touch, but, of course, the sense of smell could also be a part of a 4D movie.