Simwave wants to bring virtual reality to the next level with temperature, smell


Virtual reality is already disruptive in its own right as it changes the way we think about entertainment — but one Ottawa-based company wants to change the way we think about the past.

Simwave‘s main product is its virtual reality booth, which incorporates 4D elements like a rumbling floor with heat, cold, and smell into its virtual reality experience. The company is working with the Canadian War Museum to produce experiences like Vimy Ridge VR, which shows a realistic experience in a Canadian infantry. The booth will launch at the museum this summer for its First World War exhibit.

The company, however, has a much larger vision for where it thinks this product can go. “Anything you can imagine, we can create. So you can go to space, walk with dinosaurs and feel them breathing on you,” said Matthew Thomas, head of business development at Simwave. “There are marketing applications where this can be used, like movie trailers, and we would also love to get into PTSD rehabilitation.”

Co-host Bruce Croxon said that while this seems like an expensive piece of hardware, it’s necessary to bring virtual closer to actual reality — which may be too much for veterans who may experience the booth. “The trenches, and the fear of death, that’s a tough thing to simulate,” he said.

Co-host Amber Kanwar, for her part, felt that the tech would help other generations better understand the gravity of such experiences. “What better way to impart the history of what really happened, that you can’t really get through a text?”

Watch the whole pitch below:

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Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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