3D television, movies, screens and gaming are all the rage these days and everyone just wants a piece of 3D which is great, but have you ever considered incorporating smell into your viewing experience? Researchers based in the University of California and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in Korea have been working on this idea for the past couple of years and they have recently managed to come up with a proof-of-concept design that may very well result in “smell-o-vision”.

Why would you want to smell what’s coming out of your television, you may ask. It does seem trivial on first glance but smell is a powerful tool and has the ability to evoke long-term memories, like the smell of cookies baking could bring up fond memories of your childhood where you and your mom worked side by side, laughing and having a great time while whipping up a batch of freshly baked chocolate cookies. The smell of musty books may evoke memories of spending countless hours in the library trying to cram for your final exam. These are just some examples of the powerful emotions and memories that smell could evoke, which may be one of the main reasons why the “smell-o-vision” was conceptualized to begin with.

As for the technology itself, it will be a small device which could be slotted behind the television and has the capability of puffing out thousands of different smells, through the use of various pots containing the different chemicals required to achieve the different smells. These pots along with the heating coil used to heat the scents and push them out will be controlled by a simple 100 by 100 controller array which is what will help to keep the costs down and to quickly disperse the smells.

This is rather revolutionary – imagine the possibilities, perfume ads could actually puff out the smells into your living room without you having to go to the store, movies would be a much more exciting and immersive experience, and well, watching cooking shows will just never be the same again.

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