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You can now smell the virtual world with the futuristic face mask

Sat 10 Jun 2023    
| < 1 min read

One technological frontier is proving to be a little too difficult to master as it develops at breakneck speed. Smell-o-vision has largely remained a pipe dream for inventors and dreamers who want to bring reality to shows like Top Chef where viewers can get a whiff of the cuisine.

A wearable technology that will have you smelling your movies could be just a whiff away from being delivered by the City University of Hong Kong.

The tiny device resembles a nose strip, but rather than applying it to the bridge, you’ll insert it directly between your top lip and nostrils. There will be two odor generators (OGs) that each incorporate a thermal actuator and scented paraffin wax.

The OGs may melt the wax and release a perfume because it is connected to a VR system. The wax will then resume its solid form after the actuator has been turned off.

Naturally, this would imply that the device would only be able to store two fragrances. Up to nine different scents, such as rosemary, mint, pancakes, pineapple, and even the divisive durian fruit, can be contained in a bigger face mask that covers the mouth and nose.

In an article published in Nature Communications, the scientists used 11 volunteers to test the device and discovered that 93% of the subjects were successful in identifying a smell.

The researchers also think that a gadget like this might be utilized for human-machine interfacing, entertainment, and education.

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