Boffins point to televisions with scent refill cartridges

Smell-o-vision on the way

Television looks set to get smelly following new technology developed by the University of California in collaboration with Samsung.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, published a proof of concept paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie which suggested that it would be possible to create a compact device ‘small enough to fit on the back of your TV’ that could waft odors at the viewer.

Potentially capable of thousands of such smells, the scent comes from "an aqueous solution such as ammonia, which forms an odorous gas when heated through a thin metal wire by an electrical current," the researchers said.

"This is likely to be the next generation TV or cell phone that produces odors to match the images you see on the screen," said UC Engineering processor Sungho Jin.

"And if a beautiful lady walks by, they smell perfume. Instantaneously generated fragrances or odors would match the scene shown on a TV or cell phone," Jin said.

The researchers said that the system would be limited to the scents which are carried and that refills might be akin to changing a printer cartridge.

The group also suggested that electronics manufacturer would look to tailoring the scents of their devices to match the "personalities" of the brand.

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