Progress toward smell television: Targeted release of various scents from individually addressable chambers

Jun 20, 2011
Progress toward smell television: Targeted release of various scents from individually addressable chambers

3-D movies, Dolby surround for a more realistic audio experience -- virtual reality is on the march. And how much more realistic would a film be if a barbecue actually smelled of grilled meat or if you could smell a sea breeze when the protagonist takes his love for an evening stroll on the beach? This type of smell experience may become reality for the home television viewer in the not-too-distant future.

In the journal , a team led by Jongmin Kim at Samsung Electronics in Korea and Sungho Jin at the University of California, San Diego, USA, have now introduced a new approach for making a compact device that could fit on the back of a television to produce thousands of different scents.

Previous technologies for the controlled release of scents were not simple enough and were much too crude for the sensitive electronics of our televisions and video players. An odor module needs to be small and robust and deliver results that are reproducible over multiple cycles; the response should be rapid and the user should be able to regulate the strength of the odor. Kim, Jin, and their co-workers aim to overcome these challenges with their new concept.

Their method is based on an array of individual cells that are filled with scent-containing solutions. The miniature containers are made from a cross-linked silicone polymer. Except for a tiny hole in the top, they are completely sealed. A needle can be sued to inject a different scent solution into each cell. In the “off” state the tiny hole stays closed. The scent containers are switched on by heating. This causes the silicone to expand and the pressure on the inside to increase, forcing a small amount of gas-phase scent out of the tiny hole.

A two-dimensional lattice of heating wires, known as an X-Y matrix, can be used to specifically address individual containers. The scientists prepared a prototype, which they successfully tested with two different perfumes, “Live by Jenifer Lopez” and “Passion by Elizabeth Taylor”. Testers could detect both scents and differentiate between them.

“Our new concept is not only of interest for the entertainment industry,” state Kim and Jin, “it could also be used for combinatorial studies of gas-phase reactions and the development of vapor-based pharmaceuticals.”

Explore further: Essential oils may provide good source of food preservation

More information: Sungho Jin, An X–Y Addressable Matrix Odor-Releasing System Using an On–Off Switchable Device, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201102759

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A research breakthrough toward odor-generating TV

Jun 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Today’s television programs are designed to trigger your emotions and your mind through your senses of sound and sight. But what if they could trigger a few more? What if you could smell ...

Scent Prediction

Apr 18, 2007

The scent of lily of the valley hangs in the air for readers of the journal Angewandte Chemie: just rub the journal’s cover and enjoy a lily-of-the-valley scent.

Virtual reality in a Michigan Tech lab

Mar 07, 2011

I am in Room 314 in Rekhi Hall, arms spread wide, tippy-toeing across a rickety board and trying oh-so-hard not to fall into a gaping hole beneath my feet. One misstep and I join the dead cow at the bottom ...

Recommended for you

A new approach to creating organic zeolites

Jul 24, 2014

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jselin
not rated yet Jun 20, 2011
This could take on screen fart jokes to a whole new level