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Who Needs Magic Carpet? Tmu Has Virtual Body Chair

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virtual body technology

More than video screens and headphones, Tokyo Metropolitan University's virtual body technology also includes vibrating foot pedals to recreating footsteps, and a fan that produces wind and wafts scents.

Credit: Tokyo Metropolitan University

Virtual body technology developed at the Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) uses the five senses to recreate experiences such as feeling the wind, stepping on the ground, or smelling food. 

The team of researchers at the Ikei Laboratory and from the Graduate School of System Design developed a system that includes a three-dimensional monitor, headphones, a fan to create a breeze and spread scents, a chair that leans back and forth and vibrates partially, and foot pedals. The components work together as a unified system to stimulate the senses of the individual sitting in the seat, to provide the ultimate virtual experience. The chair moves to provide directional and vestibular sensations, and the legs will move to create a sense of walking, running, and moving up and down. "When you walk in the city there are various scents and breezes, and these are also recreated," says TMU professor Yasushi Ikei. 

The team is targeting the virtual body system as a suitable application for the elderly. In a video presentation, the narrator says "in these modern times the population is aging, so Ikei Laboratory would like for seniors who find it burdensome to go outside to be able to experience traveling around the world by using this equipment."

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