Over the last few years, numerous inventions have popped up that explored the multisensory user experience in every possible way, from creating a fine dining experience to using it to deal with mental health issues. Here are some of the inventions that paved the way for future developments.
1. Gaming- LOLLio
LOLLio is an interactive lollipop developed to explore the possibilities of taste to augment gaming experience. It comprises of two parts : a small spherical handheld device and a spherical lollipop with plastic stick. The device produces combinations of tastes of sweet and sour which can be exploited in gaming like giving a sweet rewarding taste when player levels up or achieves a goal and sour punishments every time you lose a life. So, any person can now literally ‘taste victory’!
2. Fashion- eScent®
eScent® is a company founded by Dr. Jenny Tillotson that made the fashion and digital worlds collide. eScent® is an emotionally intelligent dispenser that is embedded in jewelry, smart fabrics or elements like button and collar. It releases a fixed amount of scent depending on the person’s mood and tracks it as well, so that the fragrances can become more emotional, personalized and accessible overtime. A lot of research has been done to determine the amount of fragrance to be emitted. Also, extra points for being less wasteful and sustainable.
3. Dining— Ultraviolet , Shanghai
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are”. Food is about the taste but to assume that food is just about the taste is naive. The restaurant has 10 seats for every night which needs to be booked a month in advance by paying 1000$, after which a bus takes the diners to the mysterious building in Shanghai. The enthralling experience, idea of French chef Paul Pairet, takes place within a minimalistic room with no decor or a view. What makes it special is the ambience of meticulously controlled atmosphere created by 360-degree wall projections, table projections, scent diffusers and a multichannel speaker system to set the tone, complimenting the food so as to relish every bite.
4. Gadgets— Sensorwake
Remember when Google had a good laugh by pranking everyone on April Fools Day in 2013 by Google Nose? Well, Sensorwake is no joke when it comes to exploiting sense of smell. It does not use that annoying buzzer to wake up the person, instead they wake up to smell of hot coffee or a lush jungle or even a dollar bill (for the Wall Street guys) . The capsule of choice can be inserted in the hi-tech alarm clock is released on time over the course of one to two minutes. It was tested on 100 users and worked 99% of the time. So this clock is reliable unless one has a blocked nose or a cold, in which case, the person is woken up 3 minutes later by the regular backup alarm.
5. Interiors — Multisensory Rooms
The concept of Multi- Sensory Rooms originated in Netherlands in 1980s. Since then, this concept has evolved to a great extent. A Multi-Sensory Room is a specially designed place where the participant can feel relaxed and comfortable. It gives the user a sense of control as they are in charge of the experience created for themselves initiating and controlling actions. This is achieved by the means of special sound and visual effects, haptic experience, vibrations, use of soothing aroma and music, either independently or in conjunction (hence the Multi of Multi-Sensory Rooms). Specifically designed to enable people to enjoy a wide range of experiences for therapy, learning, stimulation, relaxation and fun.The primary aim is to create events focused on five senses of touch, vision, sound, smell and taste while creating the more abstract sense of well-being, stability and togetherness.
6. Art — Multisensory Met Museum
In this art exhibit, the art displayed won’t just appeal to your sense of vision, it will be a comprehensive experience. In most of the museums , people are not allowed to touch the piece of art, accompanied by the neutral smell in the environment to allow people to focus on the artworks. But on the contrary, multi sensory art not only enhances the experience but also, the art reaches out to people regardless of disability, age, or background. The exhibit included multi sensory booklet, multi sensory sculpture that was a touch sensitive replica of the Power Figure with its own smell It also has a programmable controller and plays wav. files ( using Arduino controller). Material Book, that allows people to touch minimal amount of materials that Senufo people used to create their art to help people get an idea of the artwork. It also displayed scratch and sniff painting of Garden at Sainte-Adresse by adding the powdered fragrances and spices to make things smell exactly like they would in real life. Four different sounds were added to Jean Monet (1867–1913) on His Hobby Horse painting, sound of the bushes, boy talking, carriage wheels and a horse neighing. This was done by complex circuit of copper sheets, Arduino power pin, resistors and switches. All this definitely has created new possibilities for art. After all, art has no rules, only creativity.