Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Practical "Smell-o-Vision" System Being Developed

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the this-show-stinks dept.

Television 210

cylonlover writes "Researchers have managed to create a proof of concept Smell-o-Vision device potentially capable of pumping out thousands of different odors, yet small enough to fit behind a TV. The device has 200 X-axis controllers and 100 on the Y-axis that could selectively activate each of the 10,000 possible odors stored within numerous non-flammable silicone elastomer compartments."

cancel ×

210 comments

Farnsworth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530364)

Finally figured out how to do it.... doomsday devices can't be far behind...

Re:Farnsworth (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530426)

Can you imagine the Beano commercials?

Re:Farnsworth (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530948)

I am *NOT* watching Dirty Jobs on that.

Re:Farnsworth (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531324)

I was just thinking... 10000 scents, and yet you'll always be replacing the entire block of nearly full cartridges (like those tri-color inkjets) because it ran out of fart/BO/feces/urine.

Re:Farnsworth (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531690)

Behold as we perfect the mousetrap, and also laugh in the face of God himself...but most importantly perfect the mousetrap.

Can't belive it can work... (-1, Troll)

funnyslash (2296402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530376)

Can it detect smell of this object [thoughts.com] ?

Re:Can't belive it can work... (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530474)

Wow, all these years I managed to avoid seeing the goatse.cx guy, priding myself on my resilience to clicking on random image links from friends and trolls alike, taking comfort in the fact that I could identify a shock JPG based on a few lines of pixels while the holding the clipped window at the edge of my screen, and yet... now it's all for naught.

Re:Can't belive it can work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530966)


The Goatse Guy is a right of passage.

Congratulations, where can we send your Intartubes Diploma?

Re:Can't belive it can work... (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530496)

Warning - the above link goes to Goatse.cx.

Re:Can't belive it can work... (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530722)

You're not even trying anymore. At least link to the goatse picture with the rickroll video pasted into the hole.

No, I don't have the link.

The jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530408)

just write themselves...

Smellescope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530416)

Good news everybody! I've recently overcome a major obstacle to my smellescope!

Inquiring minds... (1)

ambivalent_maybe (861781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530422)

Am I the only person that thinks this is a terrible and possibly revolting idea?

Re:Inquiring minds... (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530522)

I agree. Who would want this?

Re:Inquiring minds... [bacon?] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531694)

Me. Can't you just imagine watching the cooking channel (bacon) and smelling that (bacon) bacon? You could smell those delicious (bacon) cheeseburgers, and the barbecue, (bacon) and all the other foods they cook. Yum. Now all they need is (bacon) Wonka-vision, so I can actually taste the bacon.

All I can think of is bacon.

Re:Inquiring minds... (2)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530546)

I do wonder if the human race is beginning to lose its capabilities of imagination...

I have and have had times when what I've been watching on a screen in front of me has been so interesting or so well filmed that I've managed to become immersed in what's going on without the need for surround sound, high definition, 3D or odours.

It might be argued that people now need these extra "enhancements" because most stuff on screen these days is such crap that there's little chance of becoming immersed in it without them.

Re:Inquiring minds... (2)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531006)

One can say the same thing about books, radio, tv, tv with sound, or tv with colour.

I'm sure old timer story tellers thought that books were expensive, rare toys for people who had no one to tell stories to them.

Re:Inquiring minds... (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531162)

In that same vein, now imagine all the shite reality shows, now instead of watching them for the crap programming they are you can smell how bad they are too.

OMG those Jersey Shore kids have a pong to them.

Re:Inquiring minds... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530836)

No. No you aren't.

Why not "telesmell?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531298)

The worst part is the name. It should be "telesmell." It's like someone saw the word "television" and assumed that the "tele" part was a reference to visual information, and the "vision" part was a reference to transmission of that information, and given those misconceptions, came up with a good new word.

Biggest Loser (2)

DoomHamster (1918204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530430)

Sweet! Now I can not only see fat people working out in HD but I can smell them sweating too!

Re:Biggest Loser (3, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530858)

And don't forget the new joys of porn...

Really? (3, Funny)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530432)

With all the crap that's on TV now...

Re:Really? (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530992)

on the next episode of Futurama....

The question remains: WHY? (2)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530450)

Can you seriously think of any movie where you'd want to experience every smell?

Re:The question remains: WHY? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530572)

Not yet, but you are thinking small and locking into the old way.

Assuming this is good and works.

You could have a show on flowers and smell them, or a show in perfumes, or give an example to someone learning chemistry what a reaction may smell like. Or sue it as an alarm system for the deaf and blind..or the arise of new puzzle games where scent is a clue.

Hell, I could think of 100's of uses. Ironically I can not think of how to make money from them

Re:The question remains: WHY? (2)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530646)

Advertisement:
Here, have a smell of our food or personal scent product, wouldn't you like to buy it?

Advertisers are the only people I can imagine wanting something like this.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531134)

Great so the back of my TV is going to smell like the perfume counter at the mall I have to plug my nose and briskly walk past.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530580)

Maybe just selectively? I'm thinking food in particular.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530712)

Could take a while till movies would be designed in such a way to make use of it, if ever, after all one of nice things with them is that they can show you all crazy stuff while you sit at a safe distance, smell could bring you a good bit closer then would be comfortable. I think the most likely use for Smell-o-Vision would be advertisment, as it could make all those pleasant pictures of food and stuff make smell even more pleasant. And as far as I know, it already is used in shop malls for that purpose for years.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530918)

Can you seriously think of any movie where you'd want to experience every smell?

Scent of a Woman?

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530956)

One has to hope she's douched herself recently.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531320)

Willy Wonka and the Choco Factory
duh

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531328)

The John Travolta movie where he was an angel that smelled like cookies

Re:The question remains: WHY? (3, Insightful)

Nerzhul (1969786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531446)

Of course not EVERY smell, but this could become a nice stylistic device to increase immersion.

Just imagine a scene in a forest or at the ocean where you can actually smell the wet earth or the salt. Done right, this would be much more exciting than that 3D thing...

Re:The question remains: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531550)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531576)

You wouldn't use every smell available in every film. The way I imagine it being used is more like music. Most of the time it's in the background barely noticed as things progress, but from time to time taking center stage.

It's been known for some time that scents have a powerful connection to the human mind, and I can totally see that being used to create a more immersive experience, especially if 3D technology keeps advancing.

Plus, if we ever develop the technology for a genuine holodeck we're really going to want smells as well.

Re:The question remains: WHY? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531720)

Natalie Portman: The Motion Picture

I smell (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530456)

$5000/gallon refill bottles, inkjet cartridge style. While a neat idea - how do they propose to co-ordinate the speed of diffusion of the smells through the room - with fans or something? Or will it become mandatory to sit exactly X distance from your TV in order for the system to work? The device should go in the remote control you keep next to your chair/couch/bed, not behind the television on the other side of the room.

Also this has the potential to backfire tremendously. While we humans are not anywhere near as dependent on our sense of smell as other creatures, smell has played a fundamental part in evolution and is wired into a very primitive part of our brains. The reaction to smell is subjective, and smells deemed unpleasant or linked to unpleasant memories will quickly lead to people ripping these devices out and throwing them away. If you think you have trouble with epileptics and certain cartoons, wait till you have people throwing up or flying into rage fits because of smells.

Re:I smell (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530666)

Or allergic reactions. Certain smells, especially certain colognes, can give me migraines. You can bet they'd be on the forefront of using the technology if it were available.

Re:I smell (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530848)

Or allergic reactions. Certain smells, especially certain colognes, can give me migraines. You can bet they'd be on the forefront of using the technology if it were available.

Beer before the big night out, smells like nectar of the gods.

Beer after waaay too much of the big night out, smells like insta-vomit.

Who wants this? (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530460)

Every couple of years, another one of these devices is offered up for sale. Why does this keep coming around? Is there really a demand for artificial scents with every TV commercial? Do we really want to be smell-o-vision while we're watching The Hangover?

Seriously, if you think this is a great idea, please reply and tell us all why...

Re:Who wants this? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530620)

A) it's great for advertisers.
B) Some nature shows
C) Scent puzzlers.
D) Custom scents.
E) The ability to smell things on other planets. What does mars smell like?

Why does slashdot think that this sort of thing would be on all the time, an for every show?

Re:Who wants this? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530808)

E) The ability to smell things on other planets. What does mars smell like?

The inside of a vacuum tube, pretty close.

Or if you "cheat" and imagine it compressed up to 1 bar, then still very much like nothing. Not much organics there, not much sulfur, its going to be like the inside of a mylar helium balloon except blander.

Re:Who wants this? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531496)

You're right, OTOH, something is giving off a gas.

However, it was an example to illustrate a use for 'distance smelling'.

With my smello-vision and my 3D glasses... (1)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531096)

I can finally feel like I'm doing shit.

Re:Who wants this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531170)

It's just like Space Nuttery. Every few years a new batch of foaming lunatics comes along with ever more delusional promises, then they disappear. No worries.

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530480)

This will make watching Terrance and Philip much less enjoyable. Double for pornography.

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530484)

Smell-o-vision has already been done; Fox News sure stinks, anyway.

Bear Grylls (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530492)

Bear Grylls and smell-o-vision? Better drink my own piss.

Re:Bear Grylls (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530622)

I'd like to smell that dirty boy any day.

Primary Problem (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530494)

If it doesn't have a method of removing the smells, it will fail like all the others.
(You do know these things have been failing since something like the 1950s, right?)

I read the article, and it sounds like they don't have a solution for this. Heck, they even talk about using coffee beans between testing smells to act as a nasal palette cleanser. I'd guess from that little tidbit that not only have they not solved the problem, but have definitely encountered it in use and have no clue what to do.

Re:Primary Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530692)

parent++;

this is the problem that halts these devices EVERY TIME

Finally... (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530504)

A technology that will make CSI *almost* worth watching.

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530506)

I've seen articles on stuff like this for over a decade. They never catch on. I think it's because people don't want to be able to smell the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles or get a whiff of what a barbecued enemy smells like after you torch them with a flamethrower.

Charming, but pointless (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530530)

It's an amusing gimmick, but they don't seem to have solved the problems that have plagued scent delivery systems before: odors don't evaporate that quickly. Audio and video disappear the instant you stop creating them, but odors linger. That's a problem of the room, not the device.

Devices like this have been discussed hundreds of times before, and I'm not quite sure what makes this one "practical". I imagine it's some great bit of engineering that lets them carry 10,000 individual scents and deliver them quickly, and I'm sure that's a neat trick.

It might even be handy for some applications in flavor and fragrance labs: punch in a formula, get out a sample instantly rather than having to drag out all of the source materials and mix them up. That's tedious and time-consuming work, and if you have to tweak, you generally have to start over.

Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530538)

...want to know what Snooki smells like after a night at the bar?

I'm sorry but this sounds like and even bigger gimmick than 3D.

Re:Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530662)

How about all those awesome smells from CSI :)

Re:Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530734)

How about all those awesome smells from CSI :)

how bout Pr0n?

Re:Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530998)

...want to know what Snooki smells like after a night at the bar?

My guess would be a mixture of baby diapers, puke, and rotting garbage, possibly with a dash of musty gym socks.

Re:Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531604)

My guess would be a mixture of baby diapers, puke, and rotting garbage, possibly with a dash of musty gym socks.

he said 'AFTER' the bar.

Re:Is this for the Sheeple who... (1)

BinarySolo (1951210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531524)

Well, it's an absolutely killer idea if you want to watch Food Network... other than that, I got nothing. But just thinking about watching Iron Chef America with smell is making my mouth water.

No (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530556)

Just because you can doesn't mean you should do it.

Re:No (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531528)

Just because you're imagination is limited, doesn't mean we shouldn't.

Terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530570)

Just think of all the nauseating things that will come out of a "remastered" version of Animal House.

What about perhaps a remastered "Moonraker" will freak out more than a few hypochondriac viewers during the gas scenes. Most likely spawning law suits.

It's going to end badly.

Terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530578)

I'm not sure I'd call it practical until people find good uses

Porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530584)

At first I thought porn! and then I thought oh god no.

Re:Porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531030)

Now let's not be hasty. Some porn might be ok. I don't think I'd mind smelling a couple lesbians go at it ;-)

Warner fans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530602)

Smell-O-Vision replaces television? Carl Stalling sez it will never work
(One of you will get this)

I thought I was at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530640)

Apparently, Slashdot has been temporarily taken over by The Onion. At least, that's my only suggestion when the headlines contain both "practical" and "smell-o-vision"...

Re:I thought I was at Slashdot (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531074)

Maybe they're aspiring to a Pulitzer prize.

Now if only... (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530648)

...someone would invent some sort of death clock. That would put some young whipper snappers in their place.

Noooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530682)

I work in the medical field. Believe me, you don't want this. Well, maybe some people would. Most people look better clothed yet porn thrives.

Latency problems (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530718)

In the living room, light and sound both travel from the screen to the eyes and ears at an incredible speed, which gives us the illusion that both video and audio are occurring simultaneously, no matter where we are in the room.

However, these chemical reactions that produce odor take a bit longer to reach the viewer (smeller?). How long, I don't know. Assuming the device is centralized and not strapped to each viewer's nose, different viewers will experience the odor at different times depending on their positioning in the room. TFA also mentions that the smell of coffee beans can be used to clear an odor, but how long would this take? If the scene shifts from the sultan's filthy dungeon to his sexy perfumed harem, how would this product handle the dissonance caused by the high latency time of clearing an old odor and releasing a new odor?

Please don't let James Cameron know about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530720)

I don't want to know what the Na'vi smell like in Avatar 3.

200*100=20000 (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530746)

200 X-axis controllers and 100 on the Y-axis that could selectively activate each of the 10,000

What happened to the other 10,000?

Re:200*100=20000 (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531054)

It's stereo. After all, you've got two nostrils

Re:200*100=20000 (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531062)

The others are odor capture devices for audience feedback. Critics have already compared it to George Orwell's "Smelloscreens" from an early draft of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Fifth Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530752)

"I Smell Dead People"
and I'd rather not.

I anticipate the anti-media-violence crowd will crawl all over this technology like flies on shit as a disincentive for gunpowder 'n' corpses.

So the stink'o tron makes the front page. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530774)

But nobody notices Samsung's 19" prototype transparent flexible amoled screen prototype [gizmag.com] announcement on the same site?

What would you rather have. SmellyTelly or small portable rollup/flexible displays?

Manufacturers already salivating at the prospect. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530866)

All those printer cartridge makers who force you to replace the whole cartridge when you run out of just one color are salivating at the prospect of selling a replacement scent cartridge with 20000 different tanks.

Blazing Saddles V 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530868)

Without even reading the article bitchez...

Finally, Emeril... (1)

uzd4ce (1916592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530892)

... will hopefully ease off the "Smell-o-vision" joke

terrible name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36530898)

Why is it called a Smell-o-Vision? Don't they know what vision is? It should be called a telesmell.

Like all new technologies... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530906)

... this will really start to take off once there is an application for porn.

Interesting psychology but need better stories (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36530932)

The smells would not have to be that strong, certain odors even low level can have tremendous impact on the psychology and how it would effect emotions. However, I would like to see more investment in writers and creativity. Take a look at the latest rehash of reality shows or going back old comic books from the 20th century for ideas (latest being Green Lantern).

Wife enters room... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531084)

You wife comes home, you change the channel and think you are fine...She enters the room and all she can smell is vagina! Nice!

Fear Factor. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531102)

All the times I watched that show, the host from time to time would comment that they needed something like this to portray to the people at home just how terrible the things they're eating were. Now he might get his wish.

Too much variation (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531198)

in the concentration needed of different compounds in order to smell them. Some compounds can be smelled at ppb levels while other take much more. So some "compartments" would make do with just a few mg of a compound while others might need much more. Also, the volatility and diffusivity of different compounds would make it hard to control how much gets delivered to your nose. I suppose one could heat the compartments individually as needed but the first point seems hard to overcome.

handful of shows that MIGHT use this effectively (1)

rkchang (1011975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531226)

I can possibly see Food Network and other food-oriented shows possibly using this feature. Home and Garden channel too? Past that, I see limited appeal. Next thing, they'll come out with Taste-o-Vision. Do we really want people licking their TV screens?

Retina display first (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531356)

I'd like to see affordable retina quality big screen displays before I'd pay for any other frills.

Talk to me about a way to make that happen and I'm all ears. Talk to me about smell-o-vision and you sound like you just finished huffing a can of WD-40.

Practical? (1)

Roogna (9643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531374)

There is nothing practical about making me smell whatever horrible smell they'd want to send me over a TV... ever.

I'll take Cheeses For $800 Alex (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531534)

Ding! Ding! Ding! It's an olfactory daily double!

Note to early adopters (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531542)

do not rent the Terrance and Phillip movie

It's about marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36531608)

The problem with the product, is that the tv viewer isn't the one that would want this but the advertiser. They'd want to let you smell their burgers or subtly associate a minty odor with their toilet cleaning product. I don't see this as an in home product, but an in store display product.

Of all the things I want my TV to do... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531612)

this isn't one of them!
Not even close.
Besides, what's next? People with anosmia requiring close captioning to describe the smell?

This is an excellent example of, just because it's possible doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Too bad (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531714)

I guess Harold Zoid's career is over then...

Coming up next, feel-o-vision (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531716)

get ready for a punch in the face

The *next* -o-Vision (1)

ezsailor (683625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36531758)

Next up, we have Taste-o-Vision. *Now* who wants to watch porn....
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...