New book! Multisensory experiences: Where the senses meet technology

Multisensory experiences where the senses meet technology

By Carlos Velasco and Marianna Obrist

Pre-order on Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press) website.

Check the book’s website for further information and enriched contents.


  • Based on advances on the senses and technology, the work presents a significant new interpretation of multisensory experiences
  • Provides the reader with insights as to how to understand multisensory experiences, create them, and how new technologies are allowing new multisensory experiences beyond imaginable.
  • Sets out a call for action based on the implications of multisensory experiences for individuals and society.


Most of our everyday life experiences are multisensory in nature; that is, they consist of what we see, hear, feel, taste, smell, and much more. Almost any experience you can think of, such as eating a meal or going to the cinema, involves a magnificent sensory world.

In recent years, many of these experiences have been increasingly transformed and capitalised on through advancements that adapt the world around us – through technology, products, and services – to suit our ever more computerised environment.

Multisensory Experiences: Where the senses meet technology looks at this trend and offers a comprehensive introduction to the dynamic world of multisensory experiences and design. It takes the reader from the fundamentals of multisensory experiences, through the relationship between the senses and technology, to finally what the future of those experiences may look like, and our responsibility in it.

This book empowers you to shape your own and other people’s experiences by considering the multisensory worlds that we live in through a journey that marries science and practice. It also shows how we can take advantage of the senses and how they shape our experiences through intelligent technological design.

Multisensory experiences course

This week, I finished teaching my summer school course on multisensory experiences at BI Norwegian Business School.

The final project consisted of designing a mixed reality experience for a Scandinavian firm. Students had access to virtual reality cardboards, 360 cameras, smell kits, paper, glue, scissors, and many other materials. The outcome was very cool! Here some examples 🚀


New edited book – Multisensory packaging: Designing new product experiences

Title: Multisensory packaging: Designing new product experiences
[Order here: link]

Edited by Carlos Velasco and Charles Spence

9783319949765(1)Summary: This edited collection presents state-of-the-art reviews of the latest developments in multisensory packaging design. Bringing together leading researchers and practitioners working in the field, the contributions consider how our growing understanding of the human senses, as well as new technologies, will transform the way in which we design, interact with, and experience food and beverage, home and personal care, and fast-moving consumer products packaging. Spanning all of the senses from colour meaning, imagery and font, touch and sonic packaging, a new framework for multisensory packaging analysis is outlined. The chapters also engage with increasingly important aspects of the packaging industry such as waste, product attention, and online environments. Including a number of case studies and examples, this book provides both practical application and theoretical discussion to appeal to students, researchers, and practitioners alike.

Reference: Velasco, C. & Spence, C (Eds). (2019). Multisensory packaging: Designing new product experiences. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan.

Comments from experts and industry:

‘As every child knows, the package a present comes in is often as exciting as its content! What every adult may not know is that package design is as much a science now as it is was an art. In this comprehensive, fascinating and astoundingly informative book Velasco & Spence introduce pack designers to a new lexicon in pack design with terms such as sonic design, light-weighting’, multisensorial congruency, autotelic touch, sensation transference’, moments of truth’ and much, much more…… The contributors, all experts in their fields, are the true creationists behind ‘intelligent design’. This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to put something into a box!’

– Francis McGlone, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

“In the old days, nobody knew whether the launch of a new brand would be a success or a failure.  Recent developments in marketing research decrease the probability of failure. This book provides useful information to marketing research. I would like this book to be read by many marketers, however I would also like to keep it a secret from competitors.”

– Yoshinori Ito PhD, Director, Asahi Breweries, Ltd

In the realm of product development, packaging design can be very much overlooked. People can mistakenly think all you need to make a tasty product is combine some tasty ingredients—but packaging is an ingredient itself! It is much, much more than just a box where products lie in wait, as Velasco and Spence skilfully demonstrate here. Effective design can be deployed not just protect the product; not just to tempt, educate, and encourage the consumer; but also to influence the fundamental experience of the product itself… and without us even noticing. Every page of this book provides fascinating insights into a wide variety of perspectives: I’m confident this book will fast become the ‘total package’ for anyone who wants to think outside the box and unpack packaging’s fullest potential.

– Jane Skelton | Head of Packaging | Sainsbury’s Brand Division | Sainsbury’s Supermarkets


  1. Multisensory Product Packaging: An Introduction by Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence
  2. Packaging Colour and Its Multiple Roles by Charles Spence, Carlos Velasco
  3. Food Imagery and Transparency in Product Packaging by Gregory Simmonds, Charles Spence
  4. The Role of Typeface in Packaging Design by Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence
  5. Sonic Packaging: How Packaging Sounds Influence Multisensory Product Evaluation by Qian Janice Wang, Charles Spence
  6. Tactile/Haptic Aspects of Multisensory Packaging Design by Charles Spence
  7. Full-Bodied Taste: On the Embodied Origins of Product Perception and Sensory Evaluation by Thomas J. L. van Rompay, Bob M. Fennis
  8. The Multisensory Analysis of Product Packaging Framework by Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence
  9. Influencing Healthy Food Choice through Multisensory Packaging Design by Anna Fenko
  10. Multisensory Premiumness by Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence
  11. Multisensory Packaging Design across Cultures by Casparus J. A. Machiels, Ulrich R. Orth
  12. The Consumer Neuroscience of Packaging by Charles Spence, Carlos Velasco, Olivia Petit
  13. Multisensory Consumer-Packaging Interaction (CPI): The Role of New Technologies by Olivia Petit, Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence



Call for papers for Frontiers’s Research Topic on Multisensory Human-Food Interaction

All information can be found here: Multisensory human-food interaction. Here’s a summary of the key information:

Submission deadlines

01 February 2017 Abstract
01 June 2017 Manuscript

About this research topic

There is a growing interest in the context of Human-Food Interaction (HFI) to capitalize on multisensory interactions in order to enhance our food-related experiences (or Multisensory Human-Food Interaction, MHFI). In this Research Topic we are calling for investigations on, and applications of, the principles that govern the systematic connections that exist between the senses, as well as systems that create new, or enhance already existing, multisensory eating and drinking experiences, in the context of MHFI.


MHFI also involves digital food interactions from remote locations and enhancing social interactions to augment eating experiences. This includes sensing taste, smell, and flavor information from one place, transferring them over the internet digitally, and effectively regenerating them at the destination. Therefore, in this Research Topic we are also interested in sensing and actuation interfaces, new communication mediums, and persisting and retrieving technologies for MHFI.


Packaging shapes up and feels great

Here’s a new post on food and drink packaging by Dr. Claire Koelsch Sand that talks about my research on multisensory packaging design. It’s published on Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Technology magazine: Packaging shapes up and feels great

“This is the realm of multisensory or synaesthetic packaging design and is packaging design that is based on the systematic connections that exist between the senses.”