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Could Vaping and Virtual Reality be United?

Could Vaping and Virtual Reality be United?



Virtual Reality and vaping seem to be on a collision course. Both industries are on the cutting edge of technology and offer immersive experiences for their users. With updated features coming out every day, it may only be a matter of time before someone makes bona fide VR-compatible vapor devices.

In this article, we’ll look at a brief history of how smellable technology has developed, and where VR and vaping devices might intersect in the not-so-distant future.

The history of  odoriferous tech has a history of hit-or-miss inventions, mostly miss. Early prototypes include AromaRama’s “Smell-O-Vision” from 1960, which injected scent into movie theatres during screenings. In 1981, the John Waters movie Polyester encouraged movie-goers to use “Odorama” technology (scratch-and-sniff cards) during the film. Both were dismissed as gimmicks and have since been relegated to the dustbin of wacky film history trivia.  

In the 21st century, digital innovation allowed VR to become a reality, and, as with vaping technology, innovation profoundly changed the game. VR headsets became smaller and more affordable. Facebook-owned Oculus in particular, the industry's standard-bearer, popularized VR on a massive scale by offering products compatible with smartphones and video game consoles.

Today, smellable technology is being used for a wide variety of products and applications. For example, Feel Real is a multisensory mask that can simulate the scent of gunpowder on a battlefield, burning rubber on a racetrack, or the smell of saltwater ocean while the user explores a virtual world. It also offers lavender and other flower scents for aromatherapy sessions.

Smellable technology has also been applied to virtualizing food. For example, Vocktails are a martini glass-shaped invention that changes the color of the glass and pumps scents into the imbiber’s nose. On the rim of the glass, electrodes send pulses to stimulate the taste buds and seemingly change plain water into a sweet cocktail with the click of a button.

From these advances, it’s easy to imagine how VR tech could be used in connection with vaping devices. For example, vaping batteries could pair with VR headsets. This would allow the game, headset and vaping device to interact in a VR universe. For example, if a user is approaching a mango tree on a deserted island, the vaping device could emit the vapor mist in real life. If she’s playing Fortnite, on the other hand, maybe a zombie-inspired e-liquid flavor like Zombie Freeze could become part of the experience.

This seems like the next logical development for both industries, and given the existing capabilities of devices like the Feel Real sensory masks and the Vocktail martini glasses, vaping devices seem ripe to integrate VR tech as the next innovation. Already, the vaping titans are working on making Bluetooth-capable devices, and with that kind of innovative drive, virtual reality could open up new worlds for the vaping industry to explore.