Smellovision: Smelling Your Way Around Your Home Theater

Smellovision: Smelling Your Way Around Your Home Theater

Range Govindan
Nov 28, 2008

Most of us rely on sight and sound when watching our DVDs on our HDTVs and home theater systems. We can choose lights, screens and sounds. But what is the next step in home theater technology? Virtual reality? According to David Sweeney, it's Smellovision. Read on to find out more.

David Sweeney has put together something that he calls an olfactory display. He thinks that it's the next step towards virtual reality. His devices harness the strength of smells that evoke memories, which can alter the way we think. It's known that smells can unlock memories that have been hidden away from our conscious minds. These devices then might be able to bridge the gap between the conscious and subconscious mind. Well, maybe not as much as that, but it would still be pretty cool, unless you're watching something that's happening in a sewer or a bathroom.

For now, Sweeney is working on using smells as an alternative for receiving information. He's setup sensors and the like to record what types of smells are recorded by our brains to specific events. The devices can trigger reminders or specific physiological states by replaying these smells at certain times throughout the day. The device like a loudspeaker for our nose. The diffuser includes a collection of 16 crafted scents, each with distinctive responses. The smells are cast out using oils, which are accurately blended by passing them through a piezoelectric micro-pump onto a piezoelectric diffuser. This mix is then spread around a room using a fan.

The only bad thing that we can say is that there are certain smells that we don't want to smell. Other than that, it's known that the nose can be overloaded with too many smells. You know the situation. You go to a perfume stand to choose out a perfume, and you know that you've got 15-45 minutes before your nose doesn't smell anything anymore. Otherwise, this might be interesting if included into a home theater system. [via Yanko Design]

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