Technology That Stinks… Again

from the why-that-sounds-familiar... dept

What is it with companies coming out with products that have been tried and failed many times before, suddenly announcing that they’re doing something innovative? Do they really do no research on the history of such products? Someone anonymously submitted a Business Week story about yet another company working on a product to add smells to the internet and video games. The Business Week reporter doesn’t note the history of similar products, such as DigiScents that hit the market in the bubble years and went out of business rather quickly when it turned out people really didn’t want to buy an extra device to smell things online (even if Wired Magazine did once predict it would be the next web revolution). Of course, the real innovator in this space was the early web design firm Agency.com who, in the mid-90s, created the spoof site for RealAroma, making fun of RealAudio. If they were smart, they would have patented the idea, and used it to sue all these other copycats. Of course, you could go back even further to attempts like aroma-rama and smell-o-vision to learn of other attempts/spoofs at adding smell to entertainment. What’s scary, though, is just how much these “real” iSmell companies seem to just be copying the idea cooked up as a spoof.


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