The scent of the metaverse: UAE’s latest tech breakthrough

Experience the metaverse with all senses
The scent of the metaverse: UAE’s latest tech breakthrough
UAE trying to bring smell to the metaverse

The possibility of using the sense of smell online is no longer a pipe dream, as new technology is finding a home in the UAE that could make it a reality. This is thanks to the country’s government policies that are attracting innovative metaverse startups to its shores.

While the release of Open AI’s conversational ChatGPT in November 2022 opened up new possibilities for human-AI relationships, many believe that immersing oneself in virtual reality environments requires more than just talking to AI. This is where the new technology comes in, which could allow people to not only talk to AI, but also touch, taste, and even smell in virtual reality.

Read more: Dubai launches its metaverse for next-generation dispute resolution

The UAE’s focus on innovative metaverse startups has caught the attention of Alistair Pernigo, a 21-year-old Italian inventor who is developing Auralink, a startup specializing in advanced technologies for detecting, analyzing, and reproducing smells. Pernigo is among those attracted to the UAE’s commitment to fostering innovation and advancing technological growth in the region.

Pernigo‘s Meta-nose device can detect gaseous particles and convert them into digital data, identifying thousands of smells with more than 95% accuracy. Auralink is exploring a wearable device that can communicate digital smells to the human brain through an electric signal sent to the olfactory system.

While the technology is still in its early stages and has limitations, Pernigo sees potential in Dubai, where he believes the government understands the metaverse’s potential. He seeks to grow Auralink’s research and capabilities in Dubai with the help of venture capital investor Sharad Agarwal, who believes few global markets are equipped to grow innovative companies like Auralink.

The UAE’s government policies have been instrumental in attracting innovative metaverse startups to the country. The government has launched several initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and creating a knowledge-based economy. These include the Dubai Future Accelerators program, which brings together startups and government agencies to develop innovative solutions to pressing challenges.

Moreover, the UAE is also investing in the economic potential of the metaverse. The country developed the Dubai Metaverse Strategy in 2022, which aims to bring 1,000 companies into the field, support 40,000 virtual jobs, and add $4 billion to Dubai’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Click here for more news on tech & innovation.