Soap bubbles that feature projected images and inherent scents

Soap bubbles that feature projected images and inherent scents
An Indian-origin researcher has developed multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles which can have images projected onto them, or release a scent when they are burst.

SensaBubble, created by a research team led by Professor Sriram Subramanian from the University of Bristol, is a 'chrono-sensory mid-air display system' that generates scented bubbles to deliver information to people using different senses.

The technology creates bubbles with a specified size and frequency, fills them with an opaque fog that is optionally scented, controls their route, tracks their location and projects an image onto them.

SensaBubble uses the concept of chrono-sensory experiences where layers of information are presented via different senses for variable length of times, each attracting different types of interest from the user.

Firstly, a visual display is projected onto the bubble which only lasts until it bursts; secondly, a scent is released upon the bursting of the bubble slowly disperses and leaves a longer-lasting noticeable trace.

"The human sense of smell is powerful, but there are few research systems that explore and examine ways to use it. We have taken the first steps to explore how smell can be used to enhance and last longer in a visual object such as a soap bubble," said Subramanian, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the University's Bristol Interaction and Graphics group.

"There are many areas in which bubble-based technology like SensaBubble could be applied, such as a SensaBubble clock that releases the number of scented bubbles corresponding to the hour or SensaBubble Maths, an educational game for children, which incorporates smell as feedback on their success," he said.

The research paper is to be presented in Toronto at ACM CHI 2014, a conference on human-computer interfaces.

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