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 🚀


CfP: Special Issue on Multisensory Consumer-Computer Interaction in the Journal of Business Research

Special Issue Editors:
Deadline for submission: January 11, 2020

For questions about this special issue, please contact Carlos Velasco,

Short call
The use and communication of sensory information mediated by /delivered via the latest in new technologies is a subject that challenges researchers in human-computer interaction (HCI), psychology, and marketing. Researchers in HCI try to develop interactions and technologies that stimulate the user’s senses by means of novel digital interfaces. Marketing researchers are interested in innovating on, and improving the, multisensory experience online. Experimental psychology, on the other hand, seeks to understand how processes such as perception, attention and/or judgments, express, and are influenced by, these new technologies. By working together, these disciplines may facilitate the development of theories of consumer-relevant multisensory perception and action, and broaden the scope of multisensory experience design. In this Special Issue, we want to create an interdisciplinary research space in which to discuss the scope of Multisensory Consumer-Computer Interaction. We want to put the consumer at the heart of experience design by considering his/her senses and sensory needs. Our ultimate goal is to develop an interdisciplinary research agenda on the topic.
This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute to addressing the following questions:

• How multisensory technologies and sensory inputs can affect consumer’s perception, judgment, and behaviour in digital environments?
• How to bridge the gap between technology development and consumer acceptance?
• What multisensory consumer experiences can be designed for?
• What ethical questions does the creation of a multisensory digital environment raise?
• How to find a good balance between financial profit and responsible design (sensory marketing, nudging)?
• How realistic should the multisensory experience be?
• How can multisensory design and technology be used to nudge consumers toward healthier behaviours?
• What are the limitations and scope associated with Multisensory Consumer-Computer Interaction?
Perspectives, practices, and methodologies from HCI, sensory marketing, and experimental psychology seeking to improve our understanding of the Multisensory Consumer-Computer Interaction are both invited and welcomed.

2nd Workshop on “The Future of Computing & Food”

We’re organizing the 2nd workshop on “The Future of Computing & Food” on the 28th March 2019 in Kyoto, Japan, which is co-located with the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (IEEE VR) 2019 and co-sponsored by the ACM Future of Computing Academy (ACM-FCA) and Ritsumeikan University.

The goal of this event is to build, and follow up on, the “Future of Computing & Food Manifesto”(

The Manifesto was the key outcome from the 1st “Future of Computing & Food” event that was a co-located with the AVI2018 (International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces 2018), and co-organised by the ACM-FCA. In this event, we go one step further and aim to address pressing questions on the intersection between technology and food, such as: How will the VR/AR technologies change our multisensorial eating experience?

How will we design and innovate considering food/mouth/digesting system as an interface? How will the future computing landscape explore this interaction design?

We invite participation from representatives of both the computing and food industry, so that we can envisage the future of HCI beyond 2020. We aim to bring together this wide range of people from academia and industry to co-create and shape the agenda for the interwoven future of computing technology and the human sensory capabilities and multisensory potential.

The format will be a combination of Keynotes, 10min Inspirational Talks, Spin-out Group work and Plenary Discussion, Tasting Event with local producers (Wa-gyu (Japanese beef), Ramen (Japanese noodle), Japanese Sake and more!) and multisensory experimentation. For more information, visit the website:



– Registration as a speaker of 10-min inspiration talk: 15th Feb 2019

Registration form:

– Registration as a participant: 1st March 2019

Registration via the website:

– Event Date: 28th March 2019



Masahiko Inami (The University of Tokyo), Marianna Obrist (University of Sussex), Takuji Narumi (The University of Tokyo), Carlos Velasco (BI Norwegian Business School), Yuji Wada (Ritsumeikan University)



Takuji Narumi: narumi[at]

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



CfP: Special issue on “Auditory contributions to food perception and consumer behaviour” in Multisensory Research Journal


Auditory contributions to food perception and consumer behaviour

Edited by Prof Charls Spence (University of Oxford), Dr. Felipe Reinoso Carvalho (Department of Marketing, Los Andes University, Bogota, Colombia), Dr. Carlos Velasco (BI Norwegian Business School, Norway) & Dr. Janice Wang (Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark)

What we hear affects the perception of what we taste, no matter whether we realize it or not. Both music and ambient soundscapes have been shown to bias what we choose to buy/order in shops and restaurants/cafes (Biswas, Lund, & Szocs, 2018; Zellner, Geller, Lyons, Pyper, & Riaz, 2017), typically without us realizing it. Meanwhile, a separate literature has developed over the last decade on the topic of ‘sonic seasoning.’ This is where music is especially chosen, or composed, in order to correspond crossmodal with the taste / aroma / mouthfeel / flavour (Crisinel el al., 2012; Reinoso Carvalho et al., 2015; Wang & Spence, 2016). Interesting questions here concern where such surprising correspondences come from, and elucidating the conditions under which corresponding vs incongruent (or no music) do, versus do not influence the tasting experience and eating behaviours (e.g., Hauck & Hecht, in press; Höchenberger & Ohla, in press; Lowe, Ringler, & Haws; 2018, Watson & Gunter, 2017), and the neural consequences/underpinnings of such almost-synaesthetic crossmodal interactions (Callan, Callan, & Ando, 2018). A branch of this literature has also examined ‘sensation transference’ effects – addressing questions such as ‘If you like the music more, do you like what you are eating/drinking more too?’ (Kantono et al., 2015, 2016). Auditory inputs that influence the perception of what we taste are not limited to environmental sounds. They also involve the sounds that derived from what we eat such as slurping, crunching, or smacking as well as speech sounds that we use to refer to specific foods (see Spence, 2015, for a review).


When what we hear becomes too loud, it is usually regarded as noise. The research shows that loud background noise, be it airplane noise, white noise, or restaurant noise, can affect both the taste of food and drink, as well as people’s ability to discriminate various aspects of their tasting experience (see Spence, 2014, for a review). Given the increasing noise levels in many restaurants and bars these days, there may even be a public health angle to this research. Finally, given the growing literature on music and soundscape’s influence on the multisensory tasting experience, there is a growing interest in using technology to synchronize auditory stimulation with the tasting experience (see Spence, 2019, for a review). This is a rich area for creative practice (see also The Chocolate Symphony at this year’s IMRF meeting) and submissions are also welcomed in this area, providing they connect to the multisensory science.

Hence, despite its inauspicious beginnings 70 years ago (see Pettit, 1958), research on auditory contributions to food perception and behaviour has exploded in recent years, with interest coming from the fields of cognitive neuroscience, marketing, food science, design, branding, public health and beyond. As such, now would seem like an excellent time to capture the growing interest and excitement in this area with a Special Issue dedicated to the topic.

Deadline for submissions 1st December, 2018. Queries regarding the suitability of specific submissions etc. should be directed in the first instance to



Biswas, D., Lund, K., & Szocs, C. (2018). Sounds like a healthy retail atmospheric strategy: Effects of ambient music and background noise on food sales. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-19.

Callan, A., Callan, D., & Ando, H. (2018). Differential effects of music and pictures on taste perception –an fMRI study. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum. June, 14-17th June, Toronto, CA.

Crisinel, A.-S., Cosser, S., King, S., Jones, R., Petrie, J., & Spence, C. (2012). A bittersweet symphony: Systematically modulating the taste of food by changing the sonic properties of the soundtrack playing in the background. Food Quality and Preference, 24, 201-204.

Hauck, P., & Hecht, H. (in press). Having a drink with Tchaikovsky: The crossmodal influence of background music on the taste of beverages. Multisensory Research.

Höchenberger, R., & Ohla, K. (in press). A bittersweet symphony: Evidence for taste‐sound correspondences without effects on taste quality‐specific perception. Journal of Neuroscience Research.

Kantono, K., Hamid, N., Sheperd, D., Yoo, M. J. Y., Carr, B. T., & Grazioli, G. (2015). The effect of background music on food pleasantness ratings. Psychology of Music, 13, 1-15.

Kantono, K., Hamid, N., Sheperd, D., Yoo, M. J. Y., Grazioli, G., & Carr, T. (2016). Listening to music can influence hedonic and sensory perceptions of gelati. Appetite, 100, 244-255.

Lowe, M., Ringler, C., & Haws, K. (2018). An overture to overeating: The cross-modal effects of acoustic pitch on food preferences and serving behaviour. Appetite, 123, 128-134.

Pettit, L. A. (1958). The influence of test location and accompanying sound in flavor preference testing of tomato juice. Food Technology, 12, 55-57.

Reinoso Carvalho, F., Van Ee, R., Rychtarikova, M., Touhafi, A., Steenhaut, K., Persoone, D., Spence, C., & Leman, M. (2015). Does music influence the multisensory tasting experience? Journal of Sensory Studies, 30(5), 404-412.

Spence, C. (2014). Noise and its impact on the perception of food and drink. Flavour, 3:9.

Spence, C. (2015d). Eating with our ears: Assessing the importance of the sounds of consumption to our perception and enjoyment of multisensory flavour experiences. Flavour, 4:3.

Spence, C. (2019). Multisensory experiential wine marketing. Food Quality & Preference, 71, 106-116.

Wang, Q. (J.) & Spence, C. (2016). “Striking a sour note”: Assessing the influence of consonant and dissonant music on taste perception. Multisensory Research, 30, 195-208.

Watson, Q. J., & Gunter, K. L. (2017). Trombones elicit bitter more strongly than do clarinets: A partial replication of three studies of Crisinel and Spence. Multisensory Research, 30(3-5), 321-335.

Zellner, D., Geller, T., Lyons, S., Pyper, A., & Riaz, K. (2017). Ethnic congruence of music and food affects food selection but not liking. Food Quality & Preference, 56, Part A, 126-129.

Multisensory brand experience design

Next September 20th, 2018, I’ll give a talk about Multisensory brand experience design in BI Norwegian Business School’s ÂŤMarketing Research for BreakfastÂť (Oslo, Norway). This event format is a meeting place for researchers and practitioners in marketing where you – as a participant – get the opportunity to discuss how these results influence your company and business practice.

In this talk, I’ll also give a sneak preview of our upcoming edited book: Velasco, C. & Spence, C (Eds). (in press). Multisensory packaging: Designing new product experiences. Palgrave MacMillan.

All the information about the event, as well as the registration link, can be found here: Multisensory brand experience design.


Busan, South Korea.