Will new technology let lonely Japanese gamers really experience the scent of virtual girls?
Existing virtual reality does an admirable job of replicating the sights and sounds of the real world, but those are only two of the five senses, which leaves the simulation as less than completely immersive. Of the senses still widely unaccounted for, touch is largely being held back by technical challenges of recreating a wide variety of sensations on various parts of the body. Taste, meanwhile, faces a lack of interest in adding flavors to video gaming, perhaps because it would get in the way of enjoying whatever snacks you’re already munching on while playing.
But Japanese tech startup VAQSO thinks it’s time for VR games to have their realism enhanced with appropriate scents. The company is developing a compact device that attaches with magnets to the bottom of VR headsets such as the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift units. Roughly the size of a candy bar, the device is completely wireless, connecting to the rest of the VR system via Bluetooth LE, andreleases puffs of various aromas to accentuate the in-game action.
The device is still in the design and testing phase, but VAQSO hopes to be able to load between five and 10 individual aromas into a single unit. For example, the developers say, the device could release the smell of gunpowder every time your in-game avatar pulls the trigger of a gun.
But while that sounds exciting, what’s really got the Japanese Internet’s heart racing is the prospect of using the technology to let them smell girls, and it’s actually not such an unlikely scenario. crazy idea, given how enthusiastic developers of romance simulators are about using VR to let players spend time with virtual females.
Japanese Internet commenters have already started speculating about the innovation potential:
“Come on, make ‘Beautiful Girl’ one of the scents!”
“Would than mean it smells like perfume? Or like sweat?”
“What if they make one that smells like a girl’s period…”
“Pervs :) :)”
“Middle-aged dudes will be all over this.”
Unfortunately for those looking forward to such applications, VAQSO says its device won’t be finished until sometime later this year. In the meantime, they’ll just have to find other ways of achieving olfactory satisfaction.