The Return Of iSmell – How To Sniff Out A Bad Idea

from the that-stinks dept

Final damning evidence that the internet bubble is back: some of the most ridiculous ideas are coming back. When Real Networks (back when they were Progressive Networks) first came out with Real Audio in the mid-90s, someone put up a fake site for “RealAroma” and their product SmellU-SmellMe, which joked about the ability to smell the internet with special scents being sent over your internet connection (Update: thanks to Howard, in the comments, for pointing out that it was RealAroma, not RealSmell, and for providing the internet archive link). It was a joke, but it didn’t take long for one company, DigiScents, to actually pitch such a product – bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “that website stinks.” It should be no surprise at all that DigiScents died a quick death, but unfortunately the idea lives on. Apparently a British ISP is getting ready to offer an internet based “scent dome” that will let you download smells for your computer. Here’s the best part: for the privilege of letting you smell the internet (mmmm), they plan to charge you about $475. Update: The BBC has an article with more details and pictures (but, sorry, no smells).

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Comments on “The Return Of iSmell – How To Sniff Out A Bad Idea”

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Howard says:

Re: Real Aroma

It wasn’t “real smell” it was “Real Aroma” and the fake product was “smell you/smell me”.*/ for a look at the old pages…. With the RealAroma Drive(TM), and RATML(SM) (Real Aroma Text Markup Language) you can share smells in real time, over the Internet, with olfactory buddies all over the globe….SmellU SmellMe(R) Aroma Conferencing software.
RealTyme(TM) Smell Encoder (With Improved VacuuAction(C))
The improved VacuuAction(TM) cuts down on ambient smells.

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

The DigiScents Virus...

After the DigiScents Peripheral becomes wildly popular, I expect to see a news story like this:

The entire world woke up to fecal (and other) smells today, as the Smell Virus infected another 200,000,000 machines. This virus causes the DigiScents peripheral to emit odors that cannot properly be described in a family newspaper. The virus takes advantage of a weakness in Internet explorer (all versions 5 and 6), and so far Microsoft has not been able to find a patch. A Microsoft spokesperson suggested that everyone upgrade to a beta version of Longhorn as soon as that venerable product gets out of alpha testing …

– The Precision Blogger

RDN (user link) says:

Re: smelly internet - who stinks?

At 11:16 AM 5/16/2004,
alex red
Alex) you wrote:
Well we are willing to invest in your company ,only one question ,ie how you are different from USA patent number 6152829.
We are a group of investors do not want a DIgiscents scene again.
Kindly reply ASAP.

Do you Yahoo!?
My Reply:
Dear Alex,
If you want me to seriously answer your sincere inquiry, please read the details on our Internet site first , and then ask me your questions again. If you then still vexed, I would gladly get into a more involved exchange.
Also. please also let me know whom you represent, and why you… if you did your homework, would even attempt to compare the patent number 6152829 and yeah, even…”Digiscents” with our developments. No similarities except human olfactory receptors and the potential to transmit critical data electronically are involved. We develop precision high-end therapeutic systems, and do not develop time wasting and so-very-trite game accessories, and/or internet aroma Scrach-And-Sniff synthesizer systems. 🙂
Maybe you should study THE CONCEPTS OF “Multisensory” systems and “Aromatherapy” and how they are used worldwide for legitimate healing purposes. Even the US government provides funding for related research.. There is substantial scientific evidence supporting this. (Harvard has done studies) Mainstream facilities adopting multisensory therapies include schools, nursing homes, developmental centers, mental health facilities, autism programs, early childhood programs, day treatment programs (for both children and adults), group homes, rehabilitation centers, hospices, and many more.
If you are still interested, then ask to participate financially.
Please Reply.
Best 2 U.
P.S. A yahoo address? Come on.

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