Japanese scientists have developed a 'smelling screen'
that allows you to see as well as smell the coffee or food
displayed on it.
The "smelling screen", invented by Haruka Matsukura at
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and
colleagues, makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on
any LCD screen that is displaying the image of a cup of
coffee, for example.
It works by continuously feeding odours from vaporising
gel pellets into four air streams, one in each corner of the
These air streams are blown out parallel to the screen's
surface by fans, and varying the strength and direction of
them manoeuvres the scent to any given spot on the screen.
The airflow is gentle enough to create the illusion that
the smell is actually wafting from a digital object on-screen,
New Scientist reported.
The current system only pumps out one scent at a time, but
Matsukura said the next stage is to incorporate a cartridge,
like those for printers, which allows smells to be changed
Matsukura suggested it could also be used to enhance
advertising screens and museum exhibits.
The screen was shown at the IEEE Virtual Reality
conference in Orlando, Florida, last month.