Virtual Smells Back Yet Again... And The Idea Still Stinks

from the please,-stop-the-stench dept

The idea of sending smells over the internet has been around for quite some time. In fact, one early web design shop created a "spoof" site for "RealAroma" as a play off of RealNetworks original product RealAudio. However, over the years we keep seeing real companies jump on the iSmell bandwagon. Digiscents got a ton of press coverage during the dot com bubble only to flop. In 2004, we heard of a company trying to resurect the idea, followed by a different company trying the same thing in 2005. If you haven't heard much about these lately, it might be because the idea stinks (literally and figuratively). They're all based on the same basic concept. You have to have a special device that has various "scents" that can be released via digital alerts to provide that right overall aroma.

It appears that the idea is now being revived once again, this time in Japan. NTT, the huge telco in Japan, is trying to offer a similar technology, though it's being marketed slightly differently. Rather than just adding smells to your daily internet surfing experience, the idea is that you can email or text message the scent machine from afar to set off a nice smell in your home, such that when you arrive, everything smells pretty. If you're already in the house, you can control the device via an infrared connection on your phone. Of course, that doesn't mean there isn't the "smell while your surf" option as well. The article describes how you could send someone virtual roses while also setting their smell-o-nator to offer up a rose scent. I would suggest, by the way, that you never do anything to piss off whoever has access to your smell generator. That might get downright putrid.
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Filed Under: virtual smells


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  1. identicon
    Matt Bennett, 9 Apr 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Well, if anywhere is a good place to try this out, it'd be Japan, home of the USB noodle-warmer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Hackers Dream

    for (i = 0; i < Num_Scents; i++)
    {
    while (Scents[i].Empty == False)
    { Spray_Scent(); }
    }

    hehehe

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Noooo my code

    forgot an "i" in the Spray_Scent().
    "Spray_Scent(i);"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    wrong again, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Ummm

    and you would want to use

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    yo ho ho...., 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:20pm

    {sniff} {sniff}

    ... I think I smell another bubble coming....

    time for the Venture Capitalists to jump back on board!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    Agreed. I think it sounds like a bad idea here in the US, but I could see the Japanese going for it, even if it's still a bit of long shot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Noooo my code

    Since you've already established that a Scent is an object with properties like "Empty", shouldn't it be Scents[i].Spray(); anyway?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Joel again, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Noooo my code

    for (i=0; i

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    one more try, so the html formatter doesn't break, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Noooo my code

    for (int i=0; i

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:30pm

    I can see it now

    Person 1: (snif)(snif) Dude, what the *%#@ is that smell

    Person 2: Sorry, My computer got a virus

    How many scents would this have. I'm guessing it would have vanilla and apple and the standard ones like that but would it have like tobacco smoke or... other things. Could have some fun with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:33pm

    Maybe Joel

    Depends on how I program the code.
    It could be either
    Scents[i].Spray()
    OR
    Spray_Scent(i)
    Both work depending on how you program. =)

    And for the Less Than sign you have to use the HTML code
    ampersand-L-T-semicolon.
    Otherwise it thinks you are entering an html tag =(
    Took me about 5 tries before I got my first post correct too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    lulz, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:53pm

    if(nerd){printf("You are a nerd");}

    a.out
    You are a nerd

    :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Jake, 9 Apr 2008 @ 2:12pm

    It's a useless gimmick for very rich idiots to impress other very rich idiots with, which means it'll be a license to print money if they get it to work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2008 @ 2:44pm

    it would be cool in games/videos (as long as nothing in them smells bad)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    James, 9 Apr 2008 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Hackers Dream

    Let me help you...

    Scent scentObj = new Scent();
    scentObj.Aroma = AromaLibrary.NonScents.Poop;

    while ( scentObj.NumberofRemainingSprays >0 )
    {
    scentObj.Activate();
    }

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Lucretious, 9 Apr 2008 @ 3:35pm

    Brings back memories of this ....thing:

    http://www.onzin.nl/fufme/index.shtml.htm

    I could never figure out if it was a spoof or the real deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Bart, 9 Apr 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Smell ya later

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    CAPNBRAD, 9 Apr 2008 @ 6:48pm

    someone would eventually get the bright idea to use it in porn,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Nasch, 10 Apr 2008 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    Gotta be a spoof. For one, the images are all CG, no photos. Second, "remote sex solution for the Internet and corporate intranet." Remote sex solution for the corporate intranet?? No way. It does sound like something someone should make though. A whole new level of phone sex. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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