Living The Matrix: Emergence of The Internet of Senses (IoS)

Does life sometimes feel like the inside of “The Matrix”? This might be nothing to compare with what’s just around the corner.

We’ve all heard, and in different ways probably experienced, AR, VR, and the Internet of Things. These modern digital technologies are all around us, making their way into our lives more and more extensively. Face filters, smart lighting in cities, the IKEA Place app – these and many more are real-life examples of how AI-powered solutions are entering our lives, even if we don’t realize it.

But what we’re talking about here, with the Internet of Senses, is a merged reality – a reality that’s digital, but feels real. It’s a truly immersive, overwhelming digital experience.

The concept of “The Matrix”

For those who haven’t seen it, “The Matrix” is a story about computer-generated dream reality designed to imitate the real world. The humans live in this world of digital simulation, unable to know whether it’s real or not, as they can feel the “realness” with all of their senses.

It is a science-fiction story with a huge fan following around the globe, but is it as science-fiction as it seems?

The emergence of the Internet of Senses

The idea of the Internet of Senses market growth is far from fiction. With the right technology and devices, this could be a very real future for our ever-developing digital world.

Importance and trends of the Internet of the Senses (IoS)

The Internet of Senses is a concept of digital reality, where online experiences extend from plain old sight and hearing to touch, smell, and even taste.

As crazy or unreal as this may sound, most of the technologies that will enable the existence of the IoS already exist. Augmented/virtual reality, AI/ML-powered digital solutions, and the Internet of Things are all parts of the Internet of Senses.

In other words, things are already connected. We just need to make a few adjustments that will enable more senses to become digitized.

The adaptation of the Internet of Senses: IoS use cases of the future

The Internet of Senses will have various adaptations in our private and business lives, and it will have a huge impact on the kinds of services offered by communication and digital service providers.

Being able to digitally smell, taste and touch everything will have a major influence on our day-to-day activities, including such areas as working, traveling, shopping, eating, entertaining, etc.

What things may change with the emergence of IoS?

  • Online shopping
    With the arrival of digitally-enabled taste, touch and smell, our online shopping experience might change drastically. Thanks to the technology, we’ll be able to feel the material of a desired dress, smell the perfume, or even taste the food we’re about to order, and make sure that it meets our requirements. Apart from the obvious enrichment brought by these experiences, this could mean fewer bad shopping choices and a lot more ways for businesses to encourage consumers to choose their offer. After all, as every marketer knows – smell sells.
  • Traveling
    As IoS-enabled experiences start expanding, they might reach the travel sector. The ability to feel like we’re somewhere else might bring a lot of benefits to society. These include not only more and improved resting time in between working days, but also a more sustainable approach to traveling as a whole. We’ll be able to have our vacation and see the world in a truly immersive experience, but at the same time we won’t pollute the earth as much, and won’t risk transmitting a virus, which we know from the COVID-19 pandemic is a real and very serious travel-related issue.
  • Eating habits
    44% of people believe that by 2030, we’ll be able to taste anything we want by simply putting an intelligent “device” in our mouths. This might drastically change the way we live, and quite literally so. The obvious advantage of digital taste is that we might be able to try food before we order it, but what’s even more amazing and beneficial for society is that we might start to eat a lot more healthily without missing out on any of our favorite tastes. With just one click on the magical digital taste device, we’ll be able to feel like we’re eating a burger, while in reality we’re eating a healthy substitute.

These are, of course, only three random potential applications of the various possibilities with which the Internet of Senses could equip us. They do, however, show us how technology can impact each and every part of our lives. IoS-driven inventions will have the power to revolutionize a whole range of industries, from apparel to the health sector. And soon, too.

Communication and digital service providers in the Internet of Senses-enabled world

This huge shift in the way we sense things might be a very lucrative revenue stream for communication and digital service providers, who will have to provide the connection that enables all of these opportunities.

In the IoS-powered world, digital connection will be much more than just seeing and hearing. It will be a total experience… and indeed, it might actually be the biggest driver of digitization. It might be a leap towards virtual and actual reality blending, which makes it more and more interesting to telco operators.

And, while it’s quite a long road from here to the IoS-powered world, the telecoms ride should start now – with the IoT and introducing AI-driven solutions that will enable the right connectivity and infrastructure state for the Internet of Senses to become possible. If you’re wondering how to get there with your business, we’re here to help


Kamila Rzymska

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