A virtual reality helmet that recreates the sights, smells, sounds and even tastes of far-flung destinations has been devised by British scientists.
Enlarge The device will allow users a life-like experience of places such as Kenya’s Masai Mara while sitting on their sofa.
They can also enjoy the smell of flowers in an Alpine meadow or feel the heat of the Caribbean sun on their face.
Scientists say the device will also enable users to greet friends and family on the other side of the world as though they were in the same room.
And students will even be able to find out what it was like to live in ancient Egypt, Rome or Greece.
Previously, scientists have only been able to use virtual reality technology to recreate sound and vision.
Now a team of British academics from York and Warwick universities are creating a virtual reality helmet they are calling the Virtual Cocoon.
They say it stimulates the senses so convincingly they have called the experience Real Virtuality.
The prototype helmet connects wirelessly to a computer which feeds it information about a virtual world or another part of the real world.
It features a high-definition high dynamic screen – which produces pictures ten times darker, or 30 times brighter than conventional television.
The heat and humidity can be changed using a fan and heater, while surround-sound speakers recreate ambient noise.
Professor Alan Chalmers, of Warwick University, said the headset should be ready within five years.
I’ll wait until version 2, the one that doesn’t squirt any lion flavors into your mouth.