Nebula: An Affordable Open-Source and Autonomous Olfactory Display for VR Headsets
PubDate: Nov 2022
Teams: Communication University of China
Writers:Charles Javerliat;Pierre-Philippe Elst;Anne-Lise Saive;Patrick Baert;Guillaume Lavoué
The impact of olfactory cues on user experience in virtual reality is increasingly studied. However, results are still heterogeneous and existing studies difficult to replicate, mainly due to a lack of standardized olfactory displays. In that context, we present Nebula, a low-cost, open-source, olfactory display capable of diffusing scents at different diffusion rates using a nebulization process. Nebula can be used with PC VR or autonomous head-mounted displays, making it easily transportable without the need for an external computer. The device was calibrated to diffuse at three diffusion rates: no diffusion, low and high. For each level, the quantity of delivered odor was precisely characterized using a repeated weighting method. The corresponding perceived olfactory intensities were evaluated by a psychophysical experiment on sixteen participants. Results demonstrated the device capability to successfully create three significantly different perceived odor intensities (Friedman test p < 10− 6, Wilcoxon tests padj < 10− 3), without noticeable smell persistence and with limited noise and discomfort. For reproducibility and to stimulate further research in the area, 3D printing files, electronic hardware schemes, and firmware/software source-code are made publicly available.