Canon Inkjet Printer Paves the Way for Smell-o-vision

2010-10-26 08:57:52

Published on 2010-10-26 08:57:52

Imagine watching television's Masterchef and actually smelling the sultry aromas of the contestants' classic dishes? Or watching Match of the Day and smelling that freshly cut football pitch? This could all now be possible, thanks to Japanese scientists, who have taken a humble ink jet printer and adapted it into a intriguing smell-o-vision device.

Researchers from Tokyo's Keio University took a Canon inkjet printer and replaced the normal colour ink cartridges with scented solutions, such as cinnamon, grapefruit and lavender. Inkjets produce ink by heating a wire tendril, which forces the colour down a tube and onto the page. And just like the way in which an inkjet rapidly switches between colours to produce multicoloured documents, the same idea applies for aromas, meaning one scent can quickly follow another.

"We are using the inkjet printer's ability to eject tiny pulses of material to achieve precise control," Dr Kenichi Okada, from the Keio team, told New Scientist. More primitive smell-o-vision devices have been developed before. The release of the 1960 film Scent of Mystery, later called Holiday in Spain, starring Denholm Elliot, saw cinema auditoriums adopt a system which emitted smells that accompanied the narrative of the film.

Posted by Johnny McMaster.

« Return