Feelyvision may be the next stage in television’s  evolution? British scientists are now developing technology that will allow viewers to taste, smell and touch the sensations being played out on our screen.

Researchers at the University of Sussex are exploring ways which will let viewers sense raindrops on them or wind blowing across their face, using ultrasound beams and air flows to heighten the sensory impact of scenes they are watching on their box.

This tactile TV will help TV companies create programmes that capture the audience’s full gaze and immerse them in a multisensory world, according to Dr Marianna Obrist, Reader in Interaction Design at Sussex, whose Computer Human Interaction lab is leading the research.

The team is working with Ultrahaptics, a Bristol start-up company who has developed technology that uses ultrasound to enable users to receive tactile feedback projected on to their uncovered hands, without needing to wear specialised gloves.

The technology uses ultrasound to send sensations through the air directly onto the TV watcher pinpointing areas of the hand that would best be stimulated to evoke different emotions.