Technology has till date be able to use our sense of site and sound quite successfully in bringing virtual reality and nearer to reality. Consequently you have realistic-looking games, and graphic cards that are capable of rendering them; mice that let you experience the terrain you are traversing, whether in an application, on the internet, or on a CD-ROM; and sound and music, thanks to MP3 and the like, which bring alive your experience in the virtual world. Virtual reality has, since the onset several decades ago, been dominated by visual stimuli, with tactile and auditory information research and added to the sense in the latter years.
Olfactory information has been mainly ignored as input to the virtual environment participant, in spite of the fact that olfactory receptors provide such a rich source of information to the human. To enhance this virtual experience, technology now targets on nose and tongue for the experience of smell and taste. That is, you will soon the able to smell and taste the virtual world's offerings, and not just see or hear them.
Now with the digital scent technology we are able to sense, transmit and receive a smell-trough the internet, smell a perfume online before buying them, check to see if food you are buying is fresh, smell burning rubber in your favorite racing game, or sent scented e-cards from scent enable websites. As this technology gains mass appeal , there is no stopping it from entering into all areas of virtual world. Imagine being able to smell things using a device that connects to your computer. Digital scent technologies is making this a reality.
There is a complete software and hardware solution for scenting digital media and user. It includes a personal scent synthesize for reproducing and electronic nose for the detection of the smell. These two peripheral components connected to the computer and the communication network for the transmission of the digitized smell data does comprise the digital scent technology and communication.
Digital scent technology digitizes the scent by digitizing the scent along two parameters the chemical make and its place in scent spectrum then digitized into a small file which can be transmitted to the internet attached to the enhanced web content. Then with the help of digital synthesizer connected to the computer the transmitter scent can be reproduce from the palette of primary odors following the guidelines of the digital file.
Digital scent technologies find its wide range of applications in scentertinment-movies, music and games, in communication which includes websites which is enhanced with scent. It also has its relevance in E-commerce which will make online-shopping compelling and fun. This technology also helps in advertising fields in making the advertisement more memorable and engaging. Many companies working in the field of digital scent technologies are developing a new technology for identifying dementing brain disorders, including Alzheimer's, Hunting tone's, and parkingson's and for differentiating them from other mental disorders. This method is based on detecting the olfactory deficits that are diagnostic of the deminating diseases.
Physiological Aspects Of Smell
Olfaction is defined as the act of smelling, where as to smell is to receive the scent of something by means of the olfactory nerves. Odorants are substances who characteristics can be determined by chemical analysis. A person's olfactory system operates in a fashion similar to other sensing processes in the body. Air bone molecules of volatile substances come in contact with membranes of receptor sells located in the upper part of the nostrils. The olfactory epithelium, the smell organ covers a 4-10 cm^2 area and consists of 6-10 million olfactory hairs, cilia, that detect different smells of compounds. Excited receptors send pulses to the olfactory bulbs, a part of cortex with a pattern of receptors activity indicating a particular scent.
Because the airways are bent and thus the airflow past the receptors normally is low, we sniff something to get a better sensation. In addition to the cilia, the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal)has free nerve endings distributed through out the nasal cavity. These nerve endings serve as a chemoreceptor and react to irritating and burning sensations. The trigeminal nerve connects to different region of the brain and provides the pathway for initiation of protective reflexes such as sneezing and interruption of inhalation. If the concentration is high enough both the olfactory and trigeminal sensors will be triggered by most odorants.