Ever wished that you could actually smell that picture of coffee you keep staring at on your computer screen? A team of inventors from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology is one step closer to helping you achieve that dream. They have invented a “smelling screen” that makes a specific smell exude from the monitor display.
While this version is still miles away from the smell-o-vision type of technology that you see on sci-fi books and movies, it is obviously a tad more realistic and feasible. The official description is that it is “a new olfactory display that can generate a localised odour distribution on a two-dimensional display screen.” In plain English, it simply means that the screen is equipped with four air streams, one on each corner, with vaporizing gel pellets feeding the specific smell and blown out to the screen’s surface by fans. But the airflow is gentle enough that you feel like the smell is wafting directly from the object on the screen. For now, the technology allows for just one smell at a time, but team leader Haruka Matsukura said they are working on incorporating a cartridge which will allow multiple scents that can easily be changed.
So what’s the purpose of this technology, other than allowing you to smell your on-screen coffee while drinking an actual cup? Matsukara said that for now, this can be used to enhance advertising screens and museum exhibits, to give the viewer (or rather, smeller) a more intense appreciation of the product or exhibit. But we would like to imagine that when this is fully developed, we will better appreciate cooking scenes from films, whether we’re in a movie theater or watching from our “smelling screen” HDTVs at home.
[ via Daily Mail ]