The Future of Entertainment – The Internet of Senses
Would you like to climb the Alps after work and breathe in the fresh mountain air? Longing for stronger emotions and new experiences? Then visit Pompeii in the year of 79 and experience the eruption of Vesuvius, the heat of lava, and the smell of ashes with your whole body. Sound crazy? Welcome to 2030 and connected to the Internet of Senses (IoS).
Such a future is being painted today by technology visionaries, assessing progress, emerging innovations, their opportunities and what we can expect by combining them: from artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, to the Internet of Things, 5G connectivity, robotics, and other technologies. With a smartphone, computer, or virtual reality device, we can see and hear whatever we want. But these are just two of our five senses. The other three – smell, taste, and touch – remain virtually unexplored. This will not last long: technology professionals and companies are already developing a wide range of projects and ideas that will stimulate these feelings as well. When that happens, the era of the internet of the senses will begin.
Immerse Yourself in a New Reality
What do we already have? With augmented reality, we have been able to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go for several years now, or to install furniture from the IKEA catalog on our website by installing the IKEA Place app. Meanwhile, virtual reality glasses allow us to move into the virtual world and experience games as if we were in them. One technology moves things to the real world, the other takes them to the virtual world. Combining the principles and ideas of these technologies will create a Merged Reality, where virtual images or information naturally blend into the real environment.
From Sound Filter to Instant Translation
Technology has also advanced greatly in the field of hearing. For example, the first Bose headphones to eliminate extraneous noise completely covered the ears, and they perfectly represented a hat during autumn. Bean-sized, wireless, in-ear headphones can now eliminate ambient noise. By connecting such headphones to the Internet and learning to recognize different sounds, they could not only obscure all ambient sounds, but also filter them out. This would allow us to choose for ourselves what we want to hear and what we do not. Technology can help and communicate with non-native speakers: virtual translators are already being created to automatically translate direct human language.
A Different Form of Teleportation
Smell and taste are the most difficult senses to convey. But for a person, these sensations are especially important. Taste and smell are some of the longest lasting sensations that can revive even the memories of a childhood. So far, devices are already being developed that can enhance the sensation of sweetness, saltiness, or acidity. For example, a person who cannot consume sugar would feel sweetness when drinking coffee, even though there will not be any sugar there. Now try to combine all this – image, sound, touch, taste, smell – into a whole. Basically, it would allow you to move virtually anywhere and experience whatever we want. It would be a kind of teleportation without leaving the house.