While the rest of the world continues to use research funding for the expansion of television size and larger resolutions, here in Japan, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology is far more interested in getting you to smell the television programs you are watching.
Its prototype “Smell-O-Vision” comes mounted with fans on each corner and a mixture of chemicals which can generate an accurate smell of what is on screen. Of course, the prototype seen at IEEE’s Virtual Reality conference only comes packed with a few images for smelling, such as a peach seen above, leaving much to the imagination as to what other smells they would like to create in the future.
Can you imagine watching Saving Private Ryan and getting a recreation of the sand and gore of D-Day straight down your nostrils? Or an even crazier idea, watching Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo and spending an entire day smelling the odors of animals. Lovely thought.
Far more impressive than the ability to create a smell is the engineering behind the placement of the four fans. With them mounted on each corner, this TV can aim the generated smell to appear like it is emanating from any point on the screen. This guy smelling the peach will get the full scent sitting directly in front of the screen like that, but will get a weaker smell or none at all on a different area.
Of course, smelling that peach like that for too long is a sure fire way to earn a quick trip to the eye doctor.
The idea of “Smell-O-Vision” has always been a confusing issue on where it should be taken. On one hand, smells can be one of the more offensive senses to the human body and creates a lot of unpleasant and unwanted feelings in regards to watching your favorite films. The idea of putting it in theaters would chase away audiences and die out quicker than 3D.
On the other hand, that’s exactly what they all said about sound in the late 1920’s.