OW Smell Digital, a tech company and spinout from the University of Sussex and UCL, has raised £1 million in seed funding for its technology to digitise the sense of smell for use in metaverse applications.

The funding round was led by Parkwalk Advisors and OW will use the money to expand its team and continue to develop its digitally controlled multi-channel Scent Delivery Device and its adaptive, AI-powered, cloud-based software through which it is to revolutionise human-computer interaction.

Emanuela Maggioni, founder and CEO of 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.”

According to the company, OW aims “to be for smell what Dolby and Adobe are to sound and vision: to transform an ecosystem dominated by the eyes and the ears.”

The company is also working with a company called Smell RS to create a standardised smell-test toolkit to measure olfactory capabilities as well as developing smell-delivery technologies and smell training tools with UCL.

John Pearson, Investment Director, Parkwalk, added: “We are very happy to be supporting the team at OW, where Emanuela and Marianna bring a wealth of technical, commercial, entrepreneurial knowledge and expertise. This is an exciting company. OW provides a unique innovation to design, produce, and evaluate smell sensations and the impact these can have on individuals that we haven’t seen before.”

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