"It is quite doable," said Jin, who is also a world renowned researcher in materials science.
Without an X-Y matrix system, thousands of individual controllers would be needed to accommodate the range of odors required for a commercial system. "That's a lot of circuitry and wires," said Jin. By comparison, using the X-Y system, 200 controllers (100 on the X-axis multiplied by 100 on the Y- axis) would selectively activate each of the 10,000 odors.
The UCSD team tested their device with two commercially available perfumes, "Live by Jennifer Lopez," and "Passion by Elizabeth Taylor." In both cases, a human tester was able to smell and distinguish the scents within 30 centimeters of the test chamber. When the perfumes were switched, the tester was exposed to coffee beans, which is the common practice for cleansing a tester's sense of smell in perfume development.
"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 Jin. The multi-odor concept was initiated by Samsung's research and development group, headed by Jongmin Kim at SAIT. They came to UCSD with a request for a practical means of accomplishing such a vision.
The possible scenarios are endless. A romantic comedy opens with two harried people stopping by their favorite coffee shop to fuel up before work. They are about to meet in some impossibly adorable way. But you're too distracted by the hazelnut latte that looks so good you think you can smell it. And you can. Thanks to the compact odor-generating device attached to the back of your TV set. Unless the scent is fading, in which case you just need to buy a new one like you would to replace the ink cartridge on your printer.
Next steps in the research would include developing a prototype and demonstrating that it is reliable enough to release odors on cue
|Contact: Catherine Hockmuth|
University of California - San Diego