This research aims to design and develop an innovative system, based on an olfactory display, to be used for investigating the directionality of the sense of olfaction. In particular, the design of an experimental setup to understand and determine to what extent the sense of olfaction is directional and whether there is prevalence of the sense of vision over the one of smell when determining the direction of an odor, is described. The experimental setup is based on low cost Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. In particular, the system is based on a custom directional olfactory display, an Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display (HMD) to deliver both visual and olfactory cues and an input device to register subjects’ answers. The VR environment is developed in Unity3D. The paper describes the design of the olfactory interface as well as its integration with the overall system. Finally the results of the initial testing are reported in the paper.

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