Smell the Metaverse – See How Far We’re Taking this High-Tech Concept!
The scent of progress wafts throughout the world as we get closer to the Metaverse. Despite the negative global events, you can find so many companies trying to make this idea come true. That’s why they’re taking bold steps to do it.
This means coming up with new ways to elevate the Metaversal experience. So far, related products and services stimulate the eyes and ears. Yet, a few of them want to take that to the next level with your sense of smell.
The Metaverse is a relatively new concept for many people, so I will start by explaining more about it. Then, we will go through the many tools and services that are trying to realize this concept. Later, you’ll see how far companies have reached to deliver reality into virtual spaces.
What does “Metaverse” mean?
I said it’s a “concept” because nobody owns it. Most people have heard of the Metaverse because of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to change his company’s name to “Meta.”
The social media pioneer said that this reflects his company’s long-term vision more closely than ever. Since folks haven’t heard of the idea before, they came to think that the Metaverse is Zuckerberg’s project alone.
Contrary to popular belief, this concept appeared decades before Facebook and other social networks. It first showed up in Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash in 1992.
It follows the main character named Hiro Protagonist, who jumps in and out of virtual reality to escape the real world. Still, this doesn’t explain what the Metaverse is.
You can think of it as a “mixed reality” where the virtual one merges the real world. It changes the locations in the computer, so they would work like places in the real world.
Various movies have explored this idea, such as The Matrix and Ready Player One. Still, this might not be enough to paint a clear picture of this “mixed reality.”
Fortunately, Matthew Ball explained how this might work:
1. You can’t “turn off” or “shut off” real-places, right? That will be the same with the locations in this mixed reality.
2. Your friends can join in, so you guys can do stuff together. For example, you could explore these places or watch events.
3. This isn’t like a theme park ride where you just look at things happening around you. You and your pals can each do different things.
4. Regular places let you create stuff using the materials around you. The Metaverse will also let you do this. What’s more, you can buy and sell them with the other folks in it.
5. This will also let you attend events involving the real world and virtual space. For example, you may find the dates for a concert in the real world. Yet, you will have to head to the Metaverse to attend it.
Read More: You Can Also Taste The Metaverse?
How close are we to the Metaverse?
It’s not just Meta that wants to make this concept real. That’s why you can find many companies that have created various tools and services.
The most common products are virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Quest. They cover your vision so that virtual worlds may seem 3D. They often come with special controllers too.
These allow you to interact with objects in the 3D space. Nowadays, they’ve advanced so far that you can perform hand gestures with these controllers.
Meta wouldn’t want to be left out, so it’s taking the tech to the next level. At the time of writing, it’s designing VR gloves that simulate weight for the 3D objects.
The palm and fingers have multiple sensors that inflate depending on which surface touches an object. That way, the objects can feel like they have shape and size.
You don’t have to pay for these expensive VR headsets to get a feel of the Metaverse. Some video games like Pokemon provide this with augmented reality.
AR tech places items in the virtual space over the real world via smartphones or other devices. You can play Pokemon GO for free on Android and Apple phones.
The game involves finding virtual pets called Pokemon around your area. The app will show the ones nearby on a real-time map of your location.
Once you get close to one, you can view the Pokemon via the game app. From there, you can catch them by flicking the Pokeballs on the GO game.
The scent of the Metaverse
You may have noticed that these products just let you experience a mixed reality via your sense of hearing and seeing. This isn’t enough to truly turn virtual reality into the real world.
Sure, these online games could bring you to awe-inspiring locations like a grassy plain or a rainy castle. Yet, a lot of the essential factors are missing. If you head to a grassy field, you get to feel the wind in your face and the cool scent of greenery.
That rainy castle should let you inhale the cool and damp odor of the rain. This is why some companies have taken the bold and arguably weird step to create ways for people to smell the Metaverse.
FEELREAL Multisensory VR Mask
Those moments can be relaxing to many people. That’s why the FEELREAL Multisensory VR Mask wants to help people “smell the Metaverse.”
The VR Mask can connect to current VR headsets to add scents to online games. It even provides Developer Kits, so game creators could also help their customers smell the Metaverse.
The prices start at $299.00, but you have to pay for FEELREAL software for the games you’ll play with the mask. Each one costs around $49.00.
Other companies have similar products, but they design theirs for more serious purposes. OVR wants to use its VR mask to apply the Metaverse for other industries, not just gaming.
It wants to simulate high-stakes situations for professionals like soldiers. The olfactory stimulation could turn VR into an effective training tool. For example, it may help soldiers become more familiar with real-world firefights without putting recruits in danger.
Other professionals like firefighters may also benefit if they can feel, see, hear, and smell the Metaverse in their training sessions. OVR doesn’t provide exact pricing, so you’ll have to request a quote.
The Metaverse is weird, but it can be useful. If we use it right, this could help improve our careers and industries in ways never seen before.
Otherwise, people may become hooked on the Metaverse and wish never to unplug. Progress and innovation will come one way or another, but it’s up to us how we will use it.
The goal is not to replace the real world but to enhance it. We just have to keep our focus on that objective. Then, we can safely hear, see, feel, and smell the Metaverse!