Odor in Immersive Environments
PubDate: May 2017
Teams: Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
Writers: Manfred DangelmaierRoland Blach
Immersive environments provide a computer-generated virtual reality for their users. They are applied in various fields such as engineering, marketing and sales, education and training, therapy or entertainment. Besides the dominant visual aspects or acoustic perception, olfactory perception can be one of the addressed senses in such a multimodal experience. The purpose is to immerse the user in a virtual scene in order to support decision making and design processes as well as learning. While odor can fulfill several functions in human–computer interaction there is currently no big market for computer-controlled scenting devices. Such devices should provide at least a subset of the functions of scent synthesis, dispensing, diffusion/ventilation, neutralization and exhaustion. Immersive environments in addition have to provide an interactive realtime experience and need to be controlled in synchronization with the other experiences and the scene context. This requires the integration of the olfactory simulation with the scene graph. Simple event-driven control models can be used as well as more complex fluid dynamics models to achieve a credible experience. Repeated attempts in previous decades to introduce scenting devices into mass markets for entertainment such as cinema and games were not successful. A more likely development path is the development in the aroma application industries, for example wearable devices for dispensing and dosing scent and aromas.