On April 8 in Startup SAFARI, Fabrizio Gramuglio, one of the co-founders of Xplus, presented his company. He showed how limited we are in our media experiences. They are limited to video and audio and do not include the remaining 3 senses, namely: Touch, Smell and Taste. What is the solution to allow us to have immersive media?
Instead, follow Fabrizio’s presentation.
This article is a recap of his passage. However, you can view the video through the link at the bottom of the article.
A short history
In 1914, two major things happened. One was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to the First World War. The second major event had taken place a few months earlier. It was the creation of silent films with audio.
This second event is important because it foreshadows our future. Today films are audiovisual. There may be another meaning that will be added to this media. However it seems that there is a delay of our growth because we remained at the revolution of 1914.
The human senses
The first of our senses is taste. Indeed, when we come into the world as babies, our first way of apprehending the things which surround us is to taste them. That’s why it’s dangerous to leave a baby alone because he puts everything in his mouth.
We are looking for innovations that would allow to experience the taste through technological devices. This could be used in advertising to give the consumer a taste before he buys. Or we could taste flavors through TV etc… It would be fantastic.
The sense of smell
Like taste, smell is a huge factor in recollection. It is very important. It is so important that car manufacturers always make sure that their cars smell like new. It is also the case of coffee shops that let out smoke from their coffee through ventilation pipes. By smelling these flavors, passers-by on the street are already experiencing the taste of coffee. They will soon enter and experience it with their other sense which is the taste.
Through various interactions, Fabrizio has noticed that we increasingly need to add this sense to our media. Imagine watching Game of Thrones while smelling the action; or watching nature documentaries while having the scents of those places. This is what we call immersive reality. According to a survey that Xplus conducted, 56% of respondents expect to smell the scents of different locations in movies by 2030. That’s really close.
Today, touch through a medium is found in the world of video games. Through the vibrations of joysticks, it is possible to feel shocks and the action of characters. However, these are limited to the hands. The cinema is also advanced in the immersive experience. Thus, in cinemas there are seats that move at the rhythm of the protagonists. But these shocks remain partial. It would be necessary to go beyond.
For example, it would be nice to be able to touch on the screens of our phones, the material and the texture of what we are looking for. This can be useful when buying to have more confidence on the product before buying it.
The purpose of Xplus
Xplus wants to bring into existence a digital augmented reality in which you interact with your five senses. They are currently working on a technology to do this. They propose two things:
- Creating the technology to experience media with our 5 senses. They make this technology available to content creators on a platform.
- It is also an ecosystem that they build with partners. They allow to create hubs or meeting places where people can experience virtual reality. Indeed the problem that remains are the devices. They are very expensive to buy and few people have them. So they can go to these hubs to benefit from it. In the near future, they would like to rent these devices, to allow people to experience the five senses augmented reality directly at home.
And finally, Xplus is organizing an event that will take place in the following months. This event will allow you to experience the reality they promise you. A reality with 5 senses.
To watch the video of his speech, follow this link.