Smell-O-VR? Vermont company aims to make virtual reality more realistic through scent

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A startup tech company in Vermont wants to change the way people experience virtual reality, by adding a new dimension: scent.The O in OVR Technology stands for olfactory — your sense of smell — aiming to make VR, or virtual reality, more realistic.“It’s a mix of art and science,” said Sarah Socia, the scent scientist at the Burlington-based company.Socia’s concoctions go into a small pod that attaches to the base of VR headsets.That device produces tiny bursts of fragrance at just the right time, so when you’re exploring a digital world and pick a rose, you smell a rose. Or when you’re by a computer-generated campfire, you can sniff those sweet roasting marshmallows.“A distinctive scent can just bring up and evoke memories and emotion, kind of transporting a person back into a time and place, or be able to evoke different feelings like happiness or excitement just based off of the sense of smell,” Socia explained.If this reminds you of Smell-O-Vision, the 1960s movie gimmick that flopped — even with stars like Elizabeth Taylor appearing in a film that sent fragrances wafting toward the audience at key moments in the plot (see photos …

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