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Smell-o-Vision
July 7, 2014 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Last month, an oNote was sent across the Atlantic via the oPhone, and the recipients were treated to the scent of champagne and macarons.

More on Christophe Laudamiel and David Edwards
posted by the man of twists and turns (23 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Counting down to the first transatlantic fart in three... two... one...
posted by Madamina at 7:34 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Mostly it's just going to be kids posting smellfies.
posted by cortex at 8:02 PM on July 7 [17 favorites]


"Mr. Watson, come here. I want to sniff you."
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:04 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Someone remind me, wasn't there a reason that Odorama never took off?

I remember seeing a gimmick once in a store that was like compact discs for smells. That, too, I'd imagine failed in the vaunted marketplace for some reason.
posted by JHarris at 8:10 PM on July 7


Rachel Field told me that the team has developed a “barf” cartridge, filled with four particularly disgusting odours, but that those aromas are not yet publicly available through the oNote system.
God, it's like they're trying to fail.
posted by cortex at 8:13 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Do you know how amazing this would be for vacation photos? Being able to smell the cool humid morning hike, being able to smell the sizzle of foreign street food, being able to smell the salty breeze? I really really really hope this becomes a thing. Smell brings us one step closer to our memories, and memories are all we have in this world.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:16 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Digiscents circa 2001 was once known as one of the worst tech failures of all time. Why is it back?
posted by Sophont at 8:16 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Because vaporware never gets old.
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


I'm sure potsmokinghippieoverlord and telstar will have something to say about this. It's like it's 1999.
posted by unliteral at 8:31 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I worked at Digiscents! It was ridiculous, surreal, smelly, and when the company folded I suggested to the principles that there was a book in the experience somewhere. Wonder if I should start writing it?
posted by telstar at 8:32 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Like I said…
posted by unliteral at 8:34 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Didn't preview and now just seeing your comment, unilateral. Which leads to the very delicate question: who is potsmokinghippieoverlord? Metafilter, do I want to know?
posted by telstar at 8:40 PM on July 7


The antique version, and an image of the original card (I wish I still had one!) from John Waters' Polyester.

It was so much communal fun watching the Waters' film: 8 out of 10 smells elicited a collective "eww" (like funky sneakers or farts under the sheets), but a nice rose-scented spray ended the film. Ahhh.
posted by kozad at 8:48 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Good news, everyone!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:52 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


The Skatol,Cadaverine and Putrescine smells will be available as a option ,they will be bundled with the entire Mercaptan group.
posted by boilermonster at 10:10 PM on July 7


Good thing there's no selenophenol or isocyanide.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:24 PM on July 7


The possibilities for abuse are endless. Send skunk to your enemies, or the idiot who fired you unjustly. Send one odor after another until the recipient is gasping for fresh air.
posted by Cranberry at 11:06 PM on July 7


Which leads to the very delicate question: who is potsmokinghippieoverlord? Metafilter, do I want to know?

Hmmmph.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:11 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


Having grown up across the street from Rush Limbaugh....I can see where this is going.
O-bomb-a. Imagine the horrors! The racist, racist horrors.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:24 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Do you know how amazing this would be for vacation photos? Being able to smell the cool humid morning hike, being able to smell the sizzle of foreign street food, being able to smell the salty breeze?

The problem with similar technology in the past has always been that it doesn't generate the actual sensory experience of a particular place, but rather a "best approximation" based on the bank or storehouse of artificially formulated odors.

You not only need to identify the particular mix of odors and sources on your morning hike or at your preferred seaside venue, you also need to identify the proportions of odors and hope the device has the right combination and the precision to make the mix work.

The scents and memory triggers of a cool morning walk in the Piedmont are not like those of someone else's cool morning walk in the Pacific Northwest or on the lake shore of Chicago or wherever. With that in mind, "foreign street food" example seems especially difficult to replicate in this regard.

As Odorama, Digiscents, and the like have proven, there's an "uncanny valley" for scent, especially because our memory is so attuned to it. If that seaside breeze doesn't smell just right, it will be discomforting and obtrusive rather than acting as a pleasant mnemonic enhancement.
posted by kewb at 4:21 AM on July 8


smell the salty breeze?
posted by oceanjesse


Eponystericus olfactorius.
posted by effbot at 5:24 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


So this is like the e-cigs of memory smells.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:08 PM on July 8


OMG telstar, I had a headhunter recruiting me hard to come interview with Digiscent. I couldn't stop laughing. I did, though, get lots of mileage out of it at dinner parties for months afterward...
posted by twsf at 4:28 PM on July 12


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