The Future of the Digital Multi-Sensory Experience

Every day, we are speculating on how digitization changes the way we work, buy, research and live in the future. With the exception of those who do not always end up with their conclusions in the Apocalypse, all have already recognized: We will continue to live, work, research and shop – albeit something else, – how cool.

As a scientist, I am particularly interested in how we will communicate in the future and what impact it will have on our lives. As soon as most people talk about communication, they think of words, gestures, and content exchange. Support is such a way of thinking through the functions of the social media channels and by experts who go peddling with „Content ist King“ – all Bullshit! Because everything in this world consists of data, metadata say more than a thousand words.

I would like to explain this to you by means of a conversation which I had with my colleague and scientist Prof. Dr. Adrian David Cheok, founder of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, professor of pervasive technology at City University London and Director of the Imagineering Institute (Malaysia), some time ago. It is particularly important in science, to exchange ideas among themselves, to generate ideas and to communicate them in order to promote developments, – otherwise the ideas will evaporate! With this phone call many new ideas have emerged, such as a multisensory device, to create an immersive virtual reality.

I myself am exploring the psychological aspect to drive development as well as technologies that will allow you e.g. A shopping experience digitally from home in the Dubai Mall and multi-sensory experience, with the aim to improve our lives.

Our daily activities are facilitated, for example, by smartphones, tablets or Macs and ultimately help us to make the next experience. It does not matter if we make the experiences offline or online, so all these experiences have one thing in common, we experience them multisensorically.

Imagine you can travel around the world from home, taste the freshly brewed coffee in Italy, shop in every shopping port of the world, enjoy the sunset in Venice with your treasure and finally jump naked into the sea in the Maldives, And everything from home. I know it will certainly not be the romantic and extraordinary feeling or shopping experience, as in real life, but it will be possible in the near future.

Research has been able to achieve great results, especially in recent years. There are now programs like the FaceReader (on the homepage you will find an oline demo) of VicarVision of the e.g. Our emotions can be measured while we look at an ad online. Another exciting project of them is „Empatic Products„, an emotion detection software, which is to help with personal advertising in shopping centers or digital signage but also at home on the TV.

We have also achieved great success in other areas. Nearly every one of us uses the social media channels, but the least of them is the interesting research behind them. Particularly in the areas of social media analytics and consumer insight, we were faced with major challenges because the users are increasingly producing visual content and less text online. For example, the company Curalate has developed a software based on Instagram’s photos of their likes and dislikes. Furthermore, this software allows companies to get personalized offers on analyzing their photos (e.g., your watch, shoes or shirt).

Some of you may be a bit shocked and consider these developments rather as a deterrent, but not as a lessening of life. Then let us go back to your living room.

You are in New York, see the latest Manolo Blahnik (Sorry the gentlemen :-)) in front of you and can take it in their hands, go with their soft hands over the shoe and smell the smell of the leather. Or you want to book the next trip and visit the possible destinations in advance. Fits the climate, the temperature of the water is ok, does the food taste good? These insights open up a whole new dimension of the online booking process and should already make travel agencies think about future strategies. This may be in the distant future, but both the University of Pennsylvania and the IBM Reserch Lab are working on technologies to touch things digitally in real time. So it will soon be possible to feel about our smartphone things by the use of „microscopic“ vibrations on our smartphones and in 10 years over electric impulses a hologram, imagine this shopping experience!

With regard to fragrance we are already a lot more. So I had presented to you at the market launch the oPhone, developed by Prof. Dr. David Edwards. This allows you to send fragrance messages to your friends via the iPhone app today. However, both users must have an oPhone or one of them uses an extra-built hotspot currently only in Paris and New York. So it is only a matter of time before we are able to visit the Regents Park in London from the living room and smell the roses.

Dr. Adrian David Cheock also explores this area. Together with his team, he invented Scentee, a small device that you can attach to your smartphone and send odors to friends and family. There are also initial attempts to address the taste and smell. An example of research and practice is the „Electronic Lollipop“ developed by Dr. Adrian David Cheok, which can simulate taste and send it over the Internet. In the future, you will be able to test the dishes of the restaurant for your wedding from home.

The already developed technologies will open up a whole new dimension of communication in conjunction with each other. They will make new shopping experiences, get to know new travels, make the work quite different, – they will change our whole way of life.

  1. In the entertainment area, 3-D holograms with transmission of wind, temperature, smell and taste are created. The X-wings from Star Wars will fly over your heads through the living room and blow one or the other of the Toupee off the head. At Ice Age, we will chase in the mantle as well as shawl of the glans and wear the swimwear at „The Beach“.
  2. In the retail area, you will be able to shop from anywhere in the world. You can take the products in your hand, smell the perfume, try the products and take a sample. We will be able to meet our friends and talk about the latest football results. The application will have your health data and suggest you only products that do not endanger your health – in the case of defiant people there will still be a health problem. You will have the opportunity to deal with the product, e.g. To test the golf club to their desired place beforehand, get all the information needed to buy it ultimately – within 12 hours it will already be with you.
  3. In the health sector, we will be able to visit the doctors from the couch, via the smartphone we will be able to read our biological functions like heart beat, measure our temperature and administer medication via the „Electronic Lolipop“. A continuous connection with the doctor will be maintained in order to be able to react in time in case of emergency.
  4. In the field of safety, we will read our emotional mood in conjunction with the biological data via the facereader. We will not experience a long-term check-in when traveling, everything necessary is clarified beforehand from home. At the airport, we are relaxed by the Irischeck, which in connection with the facereader, the biological data and the „Electrinic Lolipop“ (w / possible infections) let us in seconds in the safety area. Via the oPhone, the fire brigade will be able to take the necessary measures even with the least change of air.
  5. In the workplace, we will have the opportunity to enter the meeting in China from the living room with cloud technologies, smartphones and holograms. We will be able to work on the same hologram of our research model and be thousands of kilometers away. The computers will take away a lot of unnecessary processes and make our work easier. Computers are already revolutionizing production processes, automating workflows, and making us all freer, but most can not deal with it.
  6. Our life will change from the determination of others to self-determination (the perceived feeling of many people). More opportunities, better jobs, fair pay, a balanced work-life balance and thus greater health. Digitization can change our lives and work permanently for the better, but we have to accept the change, we have to change our self-perception.

Imagine these wonderful opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as consumers – a personalized multi-sensory virtual world. Things are not far-fetched and will be part of our everyday life in at least 10 years. Prof. Dr. Adrian David Cheok told me that he had already developed the first prototype in 5 years, we are working on it and still have a lot of ideas.

Thus for quite some time completely new communication instruments have been created, which however require metadata from us. Of course this may seem odd in the background of the intelligence service monitoring, but these data stand for positive communication possibilities – to facilitate our lives. For example, In the future, when you purchase a product which is hazardous for you, but it is necessary for you to give and take.

In order to be able to use these new possibilities of communication consciously, we have to understand, explain and implement their principle, – a rethinking in society must finally take place. Politics must clear the way, I am at your side! We scientists have to create the foundations for businesses to build architecture, and consumers need to understand what metadata is sent to when, in order to assess what communication opportunities arise from them.

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Thomas Heinrich Musiolik (13. Februar 2017): The Future of the Digital Multi-Sensory Experience. URL:; Visit on: 21. September 2017.

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Posted on 13. Februar 2017 in Uncategorized

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