Smell-o-Vision: Coming Soon?

We still don’t have hoverboards or robot maids, but a collaborative effort between Samsung and the University of California San Diego may make sure we do still live at least partly in the future we imagined. Behold, geeks, I give you: Smell-o-Vision.

Virtual smells have long eluded developers by being too difficult to control, impractical for in-home use, and in general, just not that awesome. The team says they’ve unlocked the final piece of full virtual reality using Silly Putty and some high-tech cellular developments. The new device utilizes aromatic gases encapsulated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), the stuff that makes Silly Putty so weirdly putty-like and silly.

The researchers arranged a number of these cells into a grid, with a wire piercing each row and column. Running an electrical current through these wires causes the gases in that row or column to heat up, but crucially a cell will only open when heated by two crossing wires at the same time. This system allows the researchers to select a particular cell from the grid just by heating the appropriate wires.

Tests show that the fine-tuned controls allow for quick smell turn-around, with just two minutes needed for the scents of two perfumes to be fully distinguishable.

Back in 2000, Weird Al Yankovic shared his thoughts on this whole Smell-o-Vision thing. I wonder if he still feels this way, and if so, how long I should hold out before buying a new TV.

[source 1|2] [image]

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9 Responses to Smell-o-Vision: Coming Soon?

  1. Food Network smellovision?  Heck, yes.

    But then I keep seeing flashes of CSI, and Bones, and the rotting flesh… like the bones episode with the body locked up in the chocolate bar… and the gagging… No, thank you.

  2. Food Network smellovision?  Heck, yes.

    But then I keep seeing flashes of CSI, and Bones, and the rotting flesh… like the bones episode with the body locked up in the chocolate bar… and the gagging… No, thank you.

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