E-Skin developed in Tokyo serves as a wearable medical monitor. (Source: Pallikkutam)

As human senses are replicated and enhanced by engineers, so our quality of life improves…

E-Skin as a wearable medical monitor

The replication of natural senses has numerous applications in bettering lives and increasing efficiency in industries all around us. E-skin, any number of ultrathin, flexible, wearable devices that combine microelectronics and sensors, can simulate a sense of touch for prosthetic limbs by detecting even light pressure and transmitting that to the wearer. Developments in technology have also opened the door to wearable devices that enhance interactions with computers, perhaps creating haptic stimulation to provide directions or notifications. While these wearable sensors are constrained by the need for light and flexible material, artificial tactile sensors can also be used in robotics or even smartphones. These sensors are coming closer and closer to mimicking the human sense of touch, even beginning to sense elements such as surface texture. As with most of these technologies, there are quite a few current use cases but even broader possibilities for future development.

Meet the digital “nose” that sniffs

Electronic noses and tongues made their start in industrial applications as long as a decade ago; food, beverage, pharmaceutical, plastic, packaging, and environmental industries all have used electronic versions of human senses. Replacing what may be an unpleasant or even dangerous task, sensors can detect if flavors or odors in food are off, provide quality control, and detect contaminants. The arrays of gas sensors in e-noses and liquid sensors in e-tongues, along with pattern recognition tools, may be able to detect minute differences that may be indistinguishable to the human palette.

Meet the digital “nose” that sniffs. (Source: Amy Simmons, Brown University)

E-noses function by detecting the trace or “fingerprint” of a chemical compound across their sensor array using pattern recognition. They are also being tested for their ability to detect diseases — perhaps sensing blood glucose levels, or even cancer, by compounds present in the breath. In 2018, researchers at Brown University developed a small sensor with the ability to detect even more contextual information. Their TruffleBot is able to measure small pressure and temperature changes, which are additional physical characteristics that can be used to identify a smell. The device accomplished these additional contexts by including both chemical and mechanical sensors, in this case, a digital barometer. On top of all this, their device can even sniff, drawing in puffs of air for analysis and functioning as a real sniffer.

E-tongue: an array of liquid sensors

Setup of an electronic tongue. (Source: ResearchGate.Net)

E-tongue devices function on similar principles: an array of liquid sensors collects information, which is then analyzed via a computer algorithm. Again like the e-nose, while the specificity of each sensor unit in the array is low, the combination of several units and specificity classes leads to large information potential. Through their years of use in industrial settings, several refinements have been made to electronic tongues. Most models are based on measurement techniques utilizing electrochemistry, such as potentiometry or voltammetry. First made in 1997, the voltammetric e-tongue can be miniaturized, or produced with self-polishing properties to protect electrode surfaces from contamination. Like many of these sensory replicas, the tongue has a well-established methodology, but also considerable development possibilities such as measurement systems for the microbial activity or water quality, use of microelectrodes, and more.

Digital lollipop possesses a taste?

Digital lollipop trial by Nimesha Ranasinghe. (Source: Nimesha Ranasinghe)

On the flip side of taste technology, there are some devices that can trick us into thinking we’re tasting something we’re not. Taste simulation is another fascinating confluence of electronics and food, with Nimesha Ranasinghe, one of the world’s leading researchers in the area, having produced a number of ways to control taste sensations. Ranasinghe’s electrode-embedded chopsticks simulate saltiness, a tumbler recreates the tart taste of lemonade, and a lollipop possesses a taste that varies based on your own biochemical makeup. This is just another step in bringing human senses into a virtual reality space, using electrodes on the surface of utensils and dishware to create a sensation as our own sense organs make contact with them.

feelSpace navigation belt senses directions

(Source: feelSpace)

Developing methods to relay information without or as an extension of human sense organs opens up so many possibilities: relaying sights to those who are visually impaired, enhancing taste and touch, and even recreating those sensations in virtual environments. It may even be possible to create in humans sensations we have never experienced. Basing their work on the navigation ability of birds and bats, a group of researchers in Germany has been able to create what they call the feelSpace navigation belt. The wearable device transforms magnetic currents into vibrations, allowing people to sense directions and orient themselves through tactile stimuli. If we can translate other senses in nature through our senses, what else can we learn to feel, and what feelings can we create? With the groundwork laid in all six senses, it’s just up to us to expand what is possible.

Source: Beyond Human Senses: The ‘Next Senses’ to Augment Your Sensory Experiences – EE Times India

Recent multisensory articles


The surprising ways little social interactions affect your health | New Scientist

Tom Peake Greeting neighbours or gossiping with a colleague can boost your health and well-being, but coronavirus lockdowns are putting that in jeopardy. Here’s how to stay connected AT THE…
Augmented + virtual realityEmotions

VR Makes Empathy Easier- Know How It Works? | Inventiva

First, let us understand what is the idea of empathy? As known, empathy is a concept that differs among individuals. What is a thought and act of kindness for you…

Nose in a book: Society of Scent matches perfumes to photography | Wallpaper

The ‘alternative perfumery’ has teamed up with Damiani Editore to pair fragrances with photography books from Arthur Elgort, Peter Berlin, Luca Missoni, and more The Society of Scent is on a…

‘Aroma sculptor’ sets out to build scent of the moon | TRT World

In this photograph taken on July 29, 2020, Michael Moisseeff sniffs a bottle in his home at Montegut-Lauragais near Toulouse, southwestern France. (AFP) Michael Moisseeff straddles the line between artist…

5 Traditional Indian Sweets That Are Nothing Short of Delicious Art! | The Better India

Taken aback by the artistic brilliance of these edibles, Rabindranath Bagore once decided to preserve their beauty in photographs Most mornings at home begin with me sharing a cup of…

These 4 Animals Possess Specialized Senses | Science Times

(Photo: Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 17: A bee scrambles across a flower on May 17, 2019, in Berlin, Germany. May 20 is World Bee Day,…

Why eating gets out of hand in front of the TV | Earth.com

By Chrissy Sexton Sensory overload can cause us to overeat when our attention is focused on other things, such as the television, according to a study from the University of Sussex. The…

Choosing A Scent While You Work From Home Can Actually Improve Your Productivity | Scoopwhoop

Source: unsplash.com Have you ever associated a scent with a person or a particular place where whenever you smell it, it takes you back to that memory? That’s called smell…

Key to harmonious pet relationships: Pheromones | ScienceDaily

Animal behaviour scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, have discovered that filling your home with appeasing pheromones could be the key to a happy household where both dogs and…

World of odour: How the sense of smell is a constant dimension to our world | The Economic Times

Historical evidence of the importance of smell can be found in all cultures, but India provides particularly rich examples. Covid-19 has made people aware about anosmia. Lack of a sense…

Amidst the alluring colour and scents, here’s how butterflies pick their flower | Research Matters

A male Catopsilia pomona from Kumarakom, Kerala Plants have many tricks in their hat to attract pollinators—vivid colours, attractive scents, exciting shapes and patterns, heat and also electric potential. But what…

The smelly truth about our romantic relationships | RTE

'While it may sound strange to smell your partner's clothing, these behaviours are surprisingly common'. Photo: Shutterstock Having trouble sleeping? Nervous about an important interview? Smelling your partner's worn clothing…

How the arts might help us grapple with climate change | CBC Radio

A photograph by Edward Burtynsky captures a plastics recycling plant in the Dandora landfill in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016. Burtynsky's work Anthropocene, made with filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de…
Augmented + virtual realityEducation

Using AR/VR eLearning Solutions In Manufacturing | Digital Market News

Discover How Manufacturing Industries Are Using AR/VR/MR eLearning Solutions To elaborate, AR/VR/MR eLearning solutions encompass everything the workforce needs to learn to be able to deal with industrial working surroundings…
Augmented + virtual realityEntertainment

In Wake of COVID-19, AmazeVR Launches Immersive Concert Solution to Take Virtual Music Experiences to the Next Level | PR Web

AmazeVR, a premium, cloud-based platform for high-quality VR content, today announced the launch of a groundbreaking immersive concert solution to facilitate the production and distribution of virtual music experiences that…

Disney’s The Little Mermaid-themed bar launches in London | Metro News

The multi-sensory experience includes a visit to King Triton’s kingdom (Picture: Getty/Moviestore/REX) Are you ready to go floating under the sea? Disney fans are in for a treat with the…

Heineken Silver Unveiled with Multi-Sensorial Adventure in Shanghai | That’s Shanghai

Heineken officially kicked off its highly-anticipated Heineken Silver Mission S campaign with an action-packed, multi-sensory experience in Shanghai. Led by Mission S Exploration Officer-Celebrities Summer Ji, Victor Ma and Tizzy…
Augmented + virtual reality

Future of Augmented Reality (AR) | TechDay

Mariya James The human brain is an exceptional make. We can convince our conscious mind, but the subconscious mind works mechanically? It grasps things which it discovers are new &…
ArtAugmented + virtual reality

Virtual Art: Program Labs + SYNTAX Interactive Hologram Exhibit Series | Remezcla

Teyana Taylor. Courtesy of Program Labs.  By Michaela Vargas Caro In recent years, the advent of tech-based design has pushed the boundaries of art. Groundbreaking virtual reality films like “Carne…

Smelly science: Scent training your dog and the sweet smell of fresh laundry | CEN.ACS

Credit: Amanda Pitts/University Communications/Grand Valley State University The nose knows: Rue searches for an essential oil as part of her nose-work training. Laurie Witucki first stumbled upon the sport of…
Augmented + virtual realityEntertainment

This UK-based Ukrainian woman entrepreneur is building a revolutionary futurist and transhumanist sex tech startup | Your Story

Angelina Aleksandrovich was fascinated by technology and its capabilities to work with elements in nature to create exciting innovations.  Working on nature’s capabilities, she grew a VR headset out of…

Diagnosing and phenotyping visual synaesthesia: a preliminary evaluation of the revised test of genuineness (TOG-R) – PubMed

Synaesthesia, a neurological condition affecting approximately .05% of the population, is characterised by anomalous sensory perception: a stimulus in one sensory modality triggers an automatic, instantaneous, consistent response in another…
Augmented + virtual realityEntertainmentExperiential

Sugar23 Partners with Blue Revolver Inc. to Bring Experiential Virtual Events Home and Beyond | Broadway World

Sugar23 announces today a new partnership with Blue Revolver Inc., and with it, the release of a first-to-market, innovative experiential virtual event technology. Going beyond in-store events and concerts, the…

Why do some scents trigger powerful memories? | Genetic Literacy Project

Credit: Margherita Soldati This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation. Anecdotally, many of us have…

Wisdome | the first fully-immersive entertainment art park | blooloop

Wisdome LA, “the world’s first fully immersive entertainment art park,” is a new concept in artainment: a multisensory fusion of technology and Eastern spirituality. Wisdome is an art park in downtown…

Scent Effects Return to Spaceship Earth’s “Burning Rome” Scene at EPCOT | WDW News Today

Guests can once again feel the full experience of the fall of Rome, as smellitzers have been once again turned on aboard Spaceship Earth. Just days after we reported that scent…

Four reasons why some people become ‘super smellers’ – from pregnancy to genetic differences | The Conversation

Some super smellers even associate unpleasant memories or feelings of annoyance with certain smells. Shift Drive/ Shutterstock Do certain smells make you feel uncomfortable, even nauseous? Or is your nose so…

How Do We Know What Is Real? | Psychology Today Canada

Painting by Tine Heine depicting hallucinations in Lewy body dementia. Source: Jetiveri | Pixabay Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. —Philip K. Dick…
Augmented + virtual realityMultisensorySmellVisual

NTNU course offers VR smell help | Taipei Times

A woman plays a virtual reality game that uses aromatherapy at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei on Tuesday. Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Times National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) has…

Researchers create ‘multi-sensory musical ice cream’ for World Ice Cream Day  | Inside FMCG

Researchers from Monash University and RMIT have created a multi-sensory ‘musical’ ice cream cone called WeScream! in celebration of World Ice Cream Day. WeScream! includes two interdependent 3D-printed ice-cream cones…

There’s something distinctly masculine about the smell of fuel, oil, tires, and exhaust | InsideHook

The Apotheke charcoal candle is the perfect summer scent. GETTY IMAGES BY JASON DIAMOND / JULY 20, 2020 9:33 AM Of all the seasons, summertime is the one I tend to associate…
Augmented + virtual realityEntertainment

How Augmented Reality (AR) Will Change Online Gambling | TechnoSports

Augmented reality (AR) has become mainstream in the video game industry. AR attempts to make computer animation more realistic. For example, Microsoft’s Hololens is a popular AR computer where one can…

‘I tried a vibrator that syncs up with erotic audiobooks, and whoa’ | Body & Soul

Lockdown has seen a spike in demand for sex-related products. Image supplied.Source:BodyAndSoul The Vibease is an innovative toy that combines the pleasures of vibrators and audio erotica - but is…

Loss Of Smell May Signal Dementia Risk, Study Says | Mind Body Green

Dementia research continues to work toward finding out more information about warning signs and causes. Now a new study from researchers at the University of California at San Francisco links…
Augmented + virtual realityExperiential

AR, VR and gamification is becoming more effective in brand story telling | Media Update

Experiential marketing has come a long way from traders in roadside markets, says Yaw Dwomoh, CEO of Idea Hive. Dwomoh says that by using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and gamification,…

Little things bring back memories | Winchester Sun

The little crystal clock beside our bed said 2 a.m. I don’t know what woke me up or whether I ever even went to sleep at all that night. Sitting…

Laneige to Release “Gummy Bear” Scented Lip Sleeping Mask | Teen Vogue

COURTESY OF THE BRAND. K-beauty favorite brand Laneige is dropping a sweet treat for our lips very soon. Just in time for the scorching summer and also in preparation for…

The Nose Knows: New Scented Pencils From Caran D’Ache | Forbes

Caran d'Ache Scented Pencils. CARAN D'ACHE It has been said that the more senses used in any activity, the better the experience of that activity will be. And I know…

Hospital’s ‘Recharge Rooms’ Created to Manage Worker Stress | WBEN 930am

Photo credit Mount Sinai Newsroom Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has added an additional layer of stress for doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. A new study from the University of…

Rachna Hukmani Explores Whiskey In An Immersive, Multi-Sensory Way | The Whiskey Wash

Rachna Hukmani of Whiskey Stories LLC pours some whiskies (image via Whiskey Stories LLC) Whiskey, as one quickly comes to find as they embrace this spirit type, is a liquid…

Random sensory quotes

Touch is a freaky thing when you’re not used to it. It makes you feel all kinds of things.

— Neal Shusterman