Immersive physical experience

Interacting with our senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch across the internet.

Internet of senses

Today, we can play VR games with people all over the world, get instant augmented reality translations of a foreign restaurant menu on our smartphone, meet grandma over a video call, and when driving watch out for the traffic that is digitally recreated on a screen. These are all examples of extended reality (XR) using audio and video that lets us experience our physical surroundings differently and even allows us to be together with people who are physically miles apart. Looking forward to the technology development over the coming decade, we expect devices, sensors, and actuators as well as context-aware applications and network enablers to enable these experiences to become richer, involving all our senses, and ultimately merging the digital and the physical worlds. We call this experience the Internet of Senses.

What is the Internet of senses

In the Internet of Senses, visual, audio, haptic, and other technologies allow human beings to have digital sensory experiences similar to the ones we experience in the physical world. The Internet of Senses augments our senses beyond the boundaries of our bodies, giving us augmented vision, hearing, touch, and smell. It enables us to blend multisensory digital experiences with our local surroundings and interact with remote people, devices, and robots as if they were right beside us.

Sensory experiences delivered over the networks are the essence of the Internet of Senses and can be demonstrated through use cases such as five senses merged reality, immersive communication, remote operation of machinery, all senses online shopping, and sustainable vacations in virtual reality.

The Internet of Senses will transform our digital experiences to fully immersive by making them multisensory. Imagine an immersive experience of a beach where you can feel the wind blowing on your face, the heat of the sun on your back, the humidity of the ocean air on your skin, and experience the fresh smell of the ocean breeze - right into your living room. Such multisensory experiences delivered over future networks will lead to the emergence of the Internet of Senses.

Internet of senses infograph

Going a bit deeper

Background and driving forces

Our digital experiences are getting more immersive, starting with Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), which are collectively known as eXtended Reality (XR). Today, digital communication is audio-visual. In the future, it will include additional sensory experiences, both for experiences and interaction. The first such experience is likely to be haptic feedback, which is needed in use cases like remote control of machinery, merged reality gaming, and augmented shopping. Adopting XR and immersive applications is seen as a driving factor as well as an opportunity to act on the climate crisis by consumers and enterprises. By making digital experiences and interaction “as good as being physically there”, the Internet of Senses has the potential to greatly reduce the need for traveling or even offices, and therefore contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Digital sensory experiences can also de-materialize products and enhance services so that fewer resources and energy are used in consumption.

Users expect the Internet of Senses

10 Hot Consumer Trends 2030

The Internet of Senses vision is based on expected technological advances, but also consumer and enterprise research. The Internet of Senses consumer report sets the scene: Urban early adopters expect that we will be using all our senses online by 2030.

The future of enterprises

The de-materialized office report, based on interviews with 7,842 white-collar workers globally gives a vision of the Internet of Senses at the workplace in 2030.

Discover a world of new possibilities

Unlimited learning. From anywhere.

Imagine experiential learning for all. With a globally connected internet of senses, it’s Possible.

Ericsson is creating a world of limitless connectivity, making it possible to reach and empower students everywhere, like never before. With immersive learning experiences and access to quality training, acquiring new skills and knowledge will become an enriching lifelong journey for everyone.

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