Smell-o-Vision is finally here

April 1, 2013

(Credit: Haruka Matsukura, Tatsuhiro Yoneda, Hiroshi Ishida/Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)

Smell-O-Vision was a system that released odors during the projection of a film so that the viewer could “smell” what was happening in the movie.

Now the “smelling screen,” invented by Haruka Matsukura at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and colleagues, makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on any LCD screen that is displaying the image of a cup of coffee, for example, New Scientist reports.

It works by continuously feeding odors from vaporizing gel pellets into four air streams, one in each corner of the screen. These air streams are blown out parallel to the screen’s surface by fans, and varying the strength and direction of them manoeuvres the scent to any given spot on the screen.

The current system only pumps out one scent at a time, but Matsukura says the next stage is to incorporate a cartridge, like those for printers, which allows smells to be changed easily.

Matsukura suggests it could also be used to enhance advertising screens and museum exhibits.

No connection with Google Nose — really! — Editor