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Touch & Smell: The Game-Changing Metaverse Upgrade

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Jan 23, 2023
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5 min read
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This blog post will cover:

  • Building an experiential Metaverse
  • OVR technology steals the show at CES 2023 
  • Virtual reality: what is used for in 2023?
  • The final word

2023 is in full swing –– and companies are beginning to scratch the surface of the nascent Metaverse’s vast experiential potential.

Firms are leveraging disruptive consumer technologies to deliver a fully immersive web3 experience for forward-thinking users who wish to catch a glimpse of the virtual realms of the future.

Building an experiential Metaverse

The Metaverse upgrade that could break the game wide open has just debuted. At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, participating companies demonstrated the far-ranging capabilities of virtual reality technologies that bring the sense of smell and touch to the virtual realm.

Metaverse technologies were the standouts of CES 2023. Taiwanese consumer electronics conglomerate HTC debuted its virtual reality headset that brings olfactory and tactile senses to digital realms. A host of other tech companies launched their VR headsets designed to go head-to-head with industry leader Meta.

The sector might be young, but the potential is undeniable: McKinsey and Company forecasts a $5 trillion surge in value for the sector by 2030. But they also note that the success of the industry lies in a greater human touch that brings unique, positive customer journeys. 

The integration of touch and smell in the VR realms is going to be a major catalyst in achieving just that.

OVR technology steals the show at CES 2023 

Burlington, VT-based company OVR Technology was one of the stars of CES 2023. The company debuted a VR headset called the ION, which contains vials containing aromas that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of smells. The company plans to release the ION in 2023. 

OVR Technology CEO Aaron Wisniewski highlighted that the integration of extended reality (XR) across industries, commerce, social media, education, and health will soon become a reality. According to Wisniewski, the integration of scent delivers experiences with unmatched power and meaning to create genuinely human experiences in virtual and extended reality.

Virtual reality: what is used for in 2023?

Users can access the virtual worlds of multiple Metaverses through a VR headset. They control their in-game actions using voice commands, haptics, eye movements, or feedback controllers.

The VR headset is responsible for providing an immersive experience to the user to simulate presence. Presence, in VR terms, refers to the simulation of the physical sensation of being in one place.

However, virtual reality goes far beyond just gaming — and the potential applications are intriguing.

Metaverse concerts are a regular thing now, opening the market up for global brands and entertainment labels to tap into entirely new audiences. The global sports market isn’t ignoring the flavor of the month: last September 2022, defending English Premier League Champions Manchester City FC launched the first virtual stadium in the Metaverse, with major franchises across all major sports following suit. The technology allows fans to watch games, interact with avatars, and in the future, buy virtual goods and services. The fashion and art world have also crossed over to the digital realm to critical acclaim.

One of the most intriguing opportunities in the Metaverse industry will be in the education and public sectors. Educational institutions and innovative enterprises are actively working towards breaking down physical barriers and creating more engaging and immersive forms of learning.

The final word

The introduction of touch and smell to the VR/AR/XR space — in particular, the sensational manner in which OVR Technology debuted its ION VR headset at the CES 2023 — laying down a marker for innovation in virtual reality and the broader Metaverse altogether.

Granted, while there is no question that the technology has plenty of room to improve before delivering a fully immersive, lifelike experience, the reality is that companies like OVR are spearheading the charge to bring it one step closer to reality for the everyday consumer in the near future. We’re talking years away before mainstream accessibility.

Nevertheless, we haven’t seen the last of major tech conglomerates and exciting new startups pouring their war chests on wearable virtual reality technology that enables users to feel sensations through their headsets.

One thing’s for sure: the Metaverse is getting there. One mod and one upgrade at a time.

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