Have you ever had a cup of coffee or a perfect meal at your favorite restaurant? Probably yes! But do you remember the day when you got drenched in the rain soaking wet and found a roadside vendor selling hot tea and you got your first sip from the cup? The hot tea runs through your mouth filling your heart to the fullest that you could never forget about. Well, that is the EXPERIENCE we are going to talk about.
This blog is not about user experience but about the history and psychological facts on multisensory experience design and its promising future along with some cool multisensory experience products.
So let’s explore!
Avatar — A Way of Experience
Speaking of multisensory experience, we can not forget to talk about the experience of watching Avatar-Way of Water in cinemas — although as a huge fan of James Cameron, the movie did have a weaker plot but the world created by James Cameron is astounding. The experience of a world we have never seen is what makes it a huge movie blockbuster.
Did you know a man named Mitch Edison drowned watching Avatar — Way of Water’s several underwater sequences in 4DX?
“Am I happy a man died watching the movie? Of course not,” said Cameron from the set of Avatar. “But does this prove we’ve created a truly immersive version of Pandora that could kill a human being? You bet it does. That’s what Avatar is about. These movies can kill you.”
— Director James Cameron commented on the tragedy after hearing about Edison’s death.
Humans and Experience
Have you ever wondered how intelligent we are and do you know what makes us “Human”? It’s the senses. yes! The 6 senses are the key elements differentiating us from an ape or a monkey. The ubiquitous species of primates, humans are distinguished by their Bipedalism and complex brain mechanism. This has made it possible to advance culture, language, and tools and of course curiosity of asking a constant “why”.
Life is Multisensory
We all know the multisensory organs; sight, sound, touch, smell, self-motion, and taste. But do you know, humans have between 9 and 33 distinct senses? Yes! The experts today state that humans can experience more than we think we can!
Most of our daily experiences are multimodal, meaning they include not just what we see but also what we hear, feel, taste, and smell. Almost every event, whether taking a meal or going to the movies, involves a wonderful sensory world.
With the development of technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality over the past few years, many of these experiences have been modified and profited from in ways that better suit our increasingly computerized environment.
Pay for Experience
Rolls Royce, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, hearing these brand names always excite us, right? Yes, even though you still don’t own one, you know how special it feels to have a luxury car. Humans are fond of a comfortable experience. Thus we spent much on comfort from mobiles to watches, luxury textiles, and dinner dates.
Imagine on a hot day in summer you visit a showroom or a textile shop. If the showroom doesn’t have air conditioning, our mind feels uncomfortable on the shop floor, and we may not stay long enough to make a purchase, thereby costing business. We have accustomed ourselves to the experience of enjoying the pleasantly cool air of an air conditioner that makes us feel relaxed.
See how experience is influenced by a subtle change in sensory input?
But this was not the case in the ’80s or ’90s. It is since shopkeepers started making their customers feel comfortable, our cognitive mental model trained without us knowing about it.
Walk into an Apple showroom in the morning and you can see all the MacBooks with retina displays tilted at a certain angle. You might think that those MacBooks are deliberately positioned like that for aesthetic reasons. But it’s not all true. The used angle makes it uncomfortable to see the screen, so customers interact with the device just to adjust the screen to their best viewing angle. yes! The main reason is to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle.
This leads to the customer touching their product (using touch sense to give an experience of owning the product) is brilliant, isn’t it?
Future of Multisense Experience
The Incredible Immersive art experience is the trend in the attractions industry AREA 15, Las Vegas. It’s the veil between reality and ultimate possibilities that dissolves. The attraction involves giving a set of immersive art experiences, enchanting rides with a touch of XR technology, cinematic immersion, and food and beverages. It’s a theme park that creates an immersive experience with the use of technology.
To sum up
When it comes to the senses, we frequently think of things like food or anything tangible, but in this era of digital interactions, designers are missing using the senses to their advantage to create memorable experiences with products or services. To enhance design experiences and prevent design anomalies, designs must cater to all the senses.