A spinout from the University of Sussex and UCL, OW Smell Digital has raised £1 million funding to develop technology that enables the digitisation of the human sense of smell for metaverse applications. The seed round was led by Parkwalk Advisors.
The newly infused capital will enable the company to develop both its software and hardware products – a digitally controlled multi-channel Scent Delivery Device and an adaptive, AI-powered and cloud-based software revolutionising human-computer interaction.
Founded in 2019 by scientists Emanuela Maggioni and Marianna Obrist, the platform aims to be for smell what Dolby and Adobe are to sound and vision. The women-led startup wants to transform an ecosystem dominated by the eyes and the ears.
The company is currently working with Rockefeller University to create the first standardised smell-test toolkit to measure its factory capabilities. It is also collaborating with UCL to develop efficient and affordable smell-delivery technologies and smell training tools.
Emanuela Maggioni, founder and CEO, OW Smell Digital, said: “We are looking to interrupt a marketplace dominated by technologies reliant solely on sound, vision and increasingly, touch. Our sense of smell has the power to evoke long-forgotten memories, bring food to life, calm us down and enrich our lives. We create smell technologies that can be used across a range of innovative contexts. From leading healthcare research to artistic and immersive experiences, our products offer a total digital command over scent and smell.”
The smell tech platform is also working with commercial clients to deliver immersive reality experiences such as British Airways, New Reality Co and Picture This Productions.