Full Sense Entertainment in Surround Smell

You have the surround sound, the widescreen, the high definition. Your choice of lights, screen, sound. The next step is, and has been for a long time, quite obvious. Smells! As virtual reality continues to become a more and more realistic situation, designer David Sweeney allows our nose to enter another false reality: the smell jungle.

Here’s surround smell; here’s the “Olfactory Display.”

Designer David Sweeney sets the nose game on its… self?

These devices harness the fact that smells evoke memories and can alter the way we think. They notify us of important information, but in a non-intrusive & subconscious manner.

This provides an alternative to receiving all our daily information through our eyes and ears, instead routing some of it down an olfactory channel. By autonomously observing our environment and our interaction with information sources, a Quale diffuser learns to associate a unique blend of smell with a specific event. The device can then trigger reminders or particular physiological states by replaying these smells at relevant times throughout the day.

This device is to the nose, what a loudspeaker is to the ears. Both are be infinitely configurable and can display information across a wide spectrum. The diffuser has a collection of 16 crafted scents, each distinctive yet novel. The oils are accurately blended by passing them through piezoelectric micro-pumps onto a piezo diffuser.

The resulting mix is broadcast into the room by a fan. The device creates a constantly adapting smellscape. Some elements of the scent convey information while others complement these by evoking awareness beyond the task in hand. Smells for this project were designed by Sissel Tolaas at the IFF re_search Lab in Berlin.

These devices sit about the room and release real scent throughout the room.

Bad? This device is wide open to sabotage, of course: people could plant poisonous gas in it! But then again, they could do the same thing to perfume bottles and the like, no worries there. Aside from that, who can argue with this smelly bit of excessive entertainment?

Or is it beyond even that? Unstated uses for the mentally unstable? How about the elderly, or those who need things like [humidifiers] on a regular basis?

Designer: David Sweeney

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