Want to Touch, Smell, and Taste the Internet? Meet Sense.

Want to Touch, Smell, and Taste the Internet? Meet Sense.

Joelle Alcaidinho
Dec 16, 2009

We at Unplggd are always on the look out for new technology that is not only interesting, but will also enhance our lives in some way and look great in our homes. Of course once we spotted the unique design of the Sense, our interest was immediately piqued. This is not the first time we have seen a product that purported to use smell to enhance our internet experience, but Sense seems to go one further than these by adding the senses of taste and touch.

The Sense designed by CD&I Associates as part of the "La Fin Du Design" Exhibition, is a wireless device that seeks to create a more sensitive and emotional connection between users and their online, movie, and gaming experiences. Sense wants to revolutionize online shopping by providing a way for you smell, touch and taste anything before you buy it.

Sense is a device that is part smell magnification system, smell and flavor-ink micro-printer, and a tactic screen that is able to create a tactile experience of physical products. The micro-printer uses 13 basic combinations of wax cartridges, that print little translucent sheets that simulate flavors and melt in the roof of your mouth. So not only can you smell, what is on your screen, you will also be able to taste it.

One of the most unique aspects about Sense is the touchscreen display which recreates the tactile experience through the use of nanotechnology. The user inserts his or her hands into the Sense sheath and is able to feel temperature, roughness, softness, hardness, or pressure. The device can be also be programmed with voice and read Braille text for the visually impaired. In addition to the experiences that come loaded with the device, new Sense apps can be downloaded from internet.

While we think Sense is certainly interesting we are not sure we see consumers clamoring for this device. Do we really want to taste the internet? While we like the concept behind the device and do think it would be great to be able to try items online before we buy them, we doubt that a translucent flavor sheet could ever provide us with a good sample of say, the menu of a new restaurant in town. Or that being able to "feel" the surface of a new product would be akin to going to our local store and being able to play with the physical product. Is the first in a new wave of sense technology? Perhaps Sense is anticipating a future that we, the consumers, are just not ready for. What do you think?

[via the Design blog]

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