One of the missing pieces of the puzzle for VR is smell, but horse CES 2024 In Las Vegas, Japanese startup Aromajoin demonstrated a wearable device that can do the job. Just dubbing Aroma Shooter Wearable, this neckband has six replaceable scent cartridges and is controlled by a mobile device or computer via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or USB. The product is still in its early days, and the Kyoto-based company is targeting developers and business customers who can choose fragrances from a library of “hundreds” of fragrances or even custom fragrances from, say, perfume brands to suit their needs. .
In Aromajoin’s demo, the video player was programmed to cycle through those six scents—lavender, blueberry, shampoo, caramel, smoke, and freshly cut grass—to match the six scenes in the short clip. Even though I was watching an otherwise normal video on my iPad, the smell definitely increased the immersion, and I can imagine it having an even greater effect when paired with VR.
Aromajoin only had a demo on hand for CES, but the software showed how you can program any video clip to trigger certain cartridges — yes, any instance — so you can get multiple scents at certain times. You can also adjust the intensity of each scent, which at first I thought the weed scent was a bit too strong. As for the neckband itself, it weighs about 300 grams, but thanks to its ergonomic shape around the collarbone, I didn’t feel much of a burden.
Aromajoin plans to launch the Aroma Shooter Wearable through crowdfunding in May of this year, with shipping expected by the end of this year. The target price of the device is about $350, and each scent cartridge costs about $30. Each cartridge should last about 3,000 shots, or up to three months, although this depends on the intensity and nature of each mix.
Aromajoin also applied the same video demonstration to a larger setup dubbed Aroma Dynamic 60, designed for retailers, movie theaters, and VR arcades. As the model name suggests, this turret pair can be equipped with up to 60 scents, with six scents in each of the 10 magazines, thus supporting a wider range of scenes or use cases. The Aroma Speaker 60 will also be available via crowdfunding, but we expect it to cost more than its neckband counterpart.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas, January 6-12. Stay up to date with the latest news from the show here.