From the ScentSciences corporation comes a new dimension in multimedia and gaming experiences: smell. Thanks to the Scent Scape you can get ready to breathe deeply and add your nostrils to the list of things engaged during your viewing experience.
Immersiveness is par for the course in movies and video games; every few years a new technology will emerge to allow home movie enthusiasts and gamers to experience their favorite form of entertainment in a whole new way. Games got voice over IP audio to increase interaction, and televisions are on the cusp of having full-on stereoscopic 3D. Sound systems are big, loud and in your face and many computer peripherals feature force-feedback.
But ScentSciences saw an opening, a niche that hadn't yet been taken, and they created the Scent Scape, a way to add smell to your favorite movie or game. The Scent Scape is a small machine not unlike a plug-in air freshener that connects to a computer via USB cable. The system includes scent cartridges with 20 basic scents that are intended to last for over 200 hours of use.
Based on the type of image shown on the screen; a pine forest, smoking campfire or roasting tureky, as examples, the Scent Scape will deploy a smell that matches what is being seen. Each Scent Scape comes with a "volume control" that can be used to adjust scent strength as desired as well as a Scent Editor that can be used to add smells to home movies.
The product retails for $69.99 and while it's not on the market yet, promotional materials on the site indicate that it is very close to being an actual release.Mmm: you can really smell the Orc.
ScentSciences plans on releasing generic cartridges along with media-specific ones to give the highest level of immersiveness for each application, and hopes that their new concept will take the world by smellerific storm.
As fans of the new media industry, we're intrigued by the product, but we can already see the obvious concerns. Take a look at the image of the ScentScape and you'll see markings for the hugely-popular MMO World of Warcraft. While we're sure Azeroth has a variety of wonderful smells for players to enjoy, wet Orc or burned Demon innards probably aren't among them.
Scent and its use are very individual, and we're not sure this is the kind of immersivness that a game or movie needs to really pull audiences in.
Nonetheless, we're curious to see how this product does on the market at large; really, it's stink or swim.
Source: Scent Sciences