Design and Integration of a Scent Delivery System in the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN)
Technical rept. Apr-Dec 2013
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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The Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment CAREN Motek Medical BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands located at the Naval Health Research Center NHRC is an immersive virtual environment and motion analysis laboratory designed for interactive rehabilitation and research of human performance in a controlled and repeatable environment. While NHRC s CAREN was originally equipped with audio, video, and motion capabilities, the system did not provide any type of olfactory immersion capability. As such, our research team determined olfactory simulation to be a strong enhancement for improving the immersion capabilities of NHRC s CAREN. The objective of this development was to design and integrate a functional scent delivery system, which can release fragrances that associate with current and future scenarios in the virtual reality environments. Several custom scent delivery system manufacturers were investigated to achieve this goal. Upon completion of the investigation, the scent system was designed using CAREN system compatible components and integrated into NHRC s CAREN. The scent delivery system at NHRC releases six different fragrances in a reliable and time-controlled manner. The scent simulation increases immersion into the virtual environment, and thus improves the research and rehabilitation impact of the NHRC CAREN. With this increased effectiveness comes the improved ability to research methods of rehabilitation for our servicemembers.
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