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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Virtual Reality Stinks Because It Does Not Smell

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Illustration shows person wearing virtual reality goggles and uses smoke to imply an odor.

Playing with smell can render a strange world more human, draw us into exploring new environments, and imprint that experience with emotional force and stakes.

Credit: Jacqui VanLiew/Getty Images

Smell is virtual reality's (VR) blind spot. Most VR technologists do not even notice the lack of smells or worry about its consequences, despite the fact that convincing smell technology is becoming available.

Smell is arguably our realest sense—the sense that most grounds us in reality. If virtual reality wants to deliver on its potential, it needs to wake up and smell its nauseating scentlessness.

From Wired
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