TV Images to Come Alive with Evocative Aromas

London, Oct 21 (IANS) Scientists are working on an amazing gadget that releases evocative aromas to match TV or computer images.

The Smell-O-Vision style device will waft delicious cooking smells when a TV chef serves up a dish. It will spray the scent of candy floss when someone watches a home video of a fairground.

And it will even bring seaside smells when someone looks at their holiday snaps on a computer.

The gadget is the brainchild of Japanese researchers who have adapted an ordinary ink jet printer to release precise doses of scent, reports the Daily Mail.

Although the invention is still at the early stages, its creators believe it could revolutionise the way we watch TV or enjoy old pictures.

The technology was tried out in 1960 in cinemas equipped with Smell-O-Vision - a system that squirted perfume during key scenes in the movie Scent of Mystery.

However, the gadget - which could release 30 different odours - was noisy and unpopular with filmgoers who complained that the smells lingered too long. A rival system, called AromaRama - was equally unsuccessful.

The new gadget is designed to release scents more accurately.

Kenichi Okada of Keio University, Tokyo, told New Scientist: "We are using the ink-jet printer's ability to eject tiny pulses of material to achieve precise control."

The Japanese team adapted a Canon printer to squirt four scents - instead of the red, green, blue and black inks used in printers.

They found that pulses lasting one tenths of a second produced fleeting aromas of mint, grapefruit, cinnamon, lavender, apple and vanilla.

Unlike the 1960s machines, the scent from the ink jet lasted for just two human breaths -- allowing a different smell to be activated.

The team are now working on a way to link scents to pictures. If it works, a single ink jet machine could be used to print on paper -- and release odours, the team say.


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Title: TV Images to Come Alive with Evocative Aromas

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