Researchers hope this tiny wearable could become Smell-o-Vision for VR

Close-up of wearable scent devices for VR.
These odor generators can either be stuck into a wearable mask or on a pill-shaped holder that adheres underneath the nose. | Image: Nature Communications

Smells have always been hard to recreate in virtual reality, but researchers may have figured out a solution: wearable odor generators.

Researchers from Beihang University and the City University of Hong Kong detailed two types of device formats in a paper published today in Nature Communications. The first type is a wearable that attaches to the skin directly under the nose. The other is a soft mask. (You can see both demoed in the videos below.) The former can create two scents while the latter can create up to nine scents. Both generators contain scented wax that can be heated in about 1.44 seconds to release the desired scent in a localized area.

Altogether, the researchers were able to generate 30 different scents, including…

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