hold arrow

Are Smell and Touch the Next Metaverse Frontiers?

1 min read · 214 views Bong-Geun Choi Apr 11, 2023

The metaverse promises fully immersive, 3D worlds where people may meet, interact, work, and play.  Some companies are creating technologies to expand the immersive nature of the metaverse by introducing smell and touch.  How are these technologies being integrated into the metaverse experience?


Smell in the Metaverse

While in its early stages, some companies are incorporating smell into the virtual reality (VR) headsets that individuals use to experience the metaverse.


For example, OVR Technology showcased a headset that contains a cartridge with eight primary aromas that can be combined to create different scents.  The company expects to release this product during 2023.[1]


Through its headsets, the company is looking to recreate as accurately as possible the way that humans experience smell in the real world.  A cartridge, filled with vials of scents manufactured in the company’s lab,  snaps onto the headset and fits over the nose.  Users testing the headsets can select fragrances, such as picking a rose. Once you pull the rose away, the smell disappears instead of lingering.  The company is also working on not-so-pleasant odors to represent real-life experiences.[2]


Taiwanese technology company HTC also introduced a high-end VR headset that looks to create the experience of smell for individuals seeking immersive metaverse experiences.  For example, it allows users to manipulate objects in a VR environment and sniff them, much like an individual would bring a peach or glass or wine to their nose.[3]


In addition to their entertainment value, such devices may be used to help individuals recover their sense of smell following virus infections that damage the olfactory system, such as COVID-19. 


Getting the “Feel” of the Metaverse

Companies are also working on haptic devices, or devices that replicate the sense of touch.  For example, Microsoft and Meta are investing billions to support technologies including wearables that replicate touch.


One such on display at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES2023) was a product that incorporated yellow gloves and a back vest that relayed sensations through buzzes and vibrations to stimulate the sense of touch.[1]


Other are looking to recreate the feel of the ground beneath your feet as you walk or the feeling of holding someone’s hand.


Many of these “touch” technologies are in their early stages, so they may not perfectly relay the sense of touch. 


Other, more advanced technologies involving touch are more expensive and are being used selectively.  One such application is the use of touch technology in bomb units.  Another is in the field of medicine. 


Technology Likely to Advance

As with most technologies, smell and touch are in their early stages.  In time, they are likely to become more advanced and reasonably priced, allowing individuals to enjoy a more immersive metaverse experience.


How may individuals gain exposure to metaverse-related companies?


The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)

The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index.  The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.


MTVR may be an attractive vehicle to gain exposure to metaverse-related companies.

For a full list of MTVR holdings, please click here.



[1] Hadero, Haleluya and Yamat, Rio, Metaverse Ventures Bring Small and Taste to Virtual Reality at CES 2023, Fortune, 1/8/23

[2] Lefrak, Mikaela, Wat to Smell in Virtual Reality? A Vermont-Based Startup Has the Technology, WBUR, 3/14/22

[3] Chadwick, Jonathan, The Real-Life Small-O-Vision? Scientists Develop a Device that Attaches to Your VR Headset and Blasts Aromas Up Your Nose While You Play Video Games, Daily Mail, 10/26/22


Bong-Geun Choi

Chief Economist


More Posts

Are Metaverse Pharmacies the Future?

1 min read · 114 views Bong-Geun Choi May 12, 2023

Avatars: Bridging the Physical and Digital Worlds

1 min read · 127 views Bong-Geun Choi May 01, 2023

How Energy Companies Are Embracing the Subscription Model

1 min read · 190 views Bong-Geun Choi Apr 20, 2023

Will Subscriptions Be the Future of Apps?

1 min read · 224 views Bong-Geun Choi Mar 31, 2023

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus or summary prospectus with this and other information about the Fund, please call 855-425-7426 or visit our website at www.fountetfs.com. Read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. The Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co., (SIDCO) 1 Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456. SIDCO is not affiliated with Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. or Fount Investment Co. Ltd.

Risk Disclosure:


Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee the Funds will achieve their stated objectives. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve the risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, or social, economic, or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. 


The Funds’ concentration in an industry or sector can increase the impact of, and potential losses associated with, the risks from investing in those industries/sectors. For MTVR, the Fund may be concentrated in the entertainment and interactive media & services industries. The entertainment industry is highly competitive and relies on consumer spending and the availability of disposable income for success, which may cause the prices of the securities of companies to fluctuate widely. The prices of the securities of companies in the interactive media & services industry are closely tied to the overall economy's performance. Changes in general economic growth, consumer confidence, and consumer spending may affect them. MTVR may also be subject to the specific risks associated with metaverse companies. These risks include but are not limited to small or limited markets, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Smaller, start-up companies tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Metaverse Companies may rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights. There can be no assurance that these steps will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not develop technologies that are equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology.


For SUBS, the Fund may be concentrated in the software industry. Technological changes, pricing, retaining skilled employees, changes in demand, research & development, and product obsolescence can affect the profitability of software companies causing fluctuations in the market price of company securities. 


Both Funds are subject to communication services sector risk, which can involve the same risks as being concentrated in the software industry. Network security breaches, potential proprietary or consumer information theft, or service disruption can negatively affect companies’ stock prices.


The Funds are non-diversified. The Funds are new and have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate. New and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility.