Virtual reality, or VR, has been a hot topic that has fascinated the public for years. Movies like “Ready Player One” show the varied possibilities of this technology. Arizona State University researcher Robert LiKamWa now wants to take users one step closer to the future of VR.
LiKamWa, an associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, leads a multidisciplinary team of students and faculty from across ASU departments to incorporate realistic, environmentally-sensitive smell into VR for more than just entertainment.
He and his team see possibilities for VR to be a valuable tool in a variety of scenarios in which smells represent vital information and are a powerful emotional tool.
While others have developed smell for VR, the ASU team is working on elements to enhance the experience like incorporating different intensities of smells depending on how close the user is to a scent and combining multiple odors that can be present in the virtual environment.