Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Big Display Blows A Scented Breeze Your Way
TOKYO (Nikkei)--A Tokai University team has developed a display system that combines sights, smells and air currents for an enhanced experience while viewing the screen.
One possible application is digital signboards advertising restaurants, with the appropriate odors blown toward viewers to give them the sensation of smelling what they see.
- This smellovision is still at the prototype stage.
The display consists of an array of LEDs spaced 2.5mm apart -- coarse resolution up close, but adequate for giant screens of 3 meters and larger. The spaces between the LEDs are taken up by holes through which fragrance capsules are jetted out toward the viewer using air blowers behind the screen.
The fragrance capsules quickly vaporize. But the fragrance molecules move as a group, pushed by the blowers to reach the viewers. Since this olfactory information travels on air currents and moves more slowly than the visual information from the screen, the time lag is adjusted for in advance.
Games and movies are other applications where the display could provide an enhanced experience -- for example, through using the blowers to create swirls of air when explosions are shown.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, March 6 edition)