Engineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are making a gadget that can capture a smell and replay it back, just like camcorders do with images.
Engineers hope a successful smell-recording device could be useful for online shopping — allowing customers to smell products before buying them — to add another dimension to television.
It could even be used by doctors to remotely diagnose patients, by recreating the smell of blood, bile or urine to help with a diagnosis. Pambuk Somboon, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, who is leading the development of the smell-recording gadget said the gadget does not have pre-prepared smells, but 15chemical-sensing electric noses that can pick up a wide range of smells.
“In video, you just need to record shades of red, green and blue. But humans have 347 olfactory sensors, so we need a lot of source chemicals,” NewScientist quoted him as saying.
These are then used to create a digital recipe from a set of 96 chemicals that can be chosen according to the purpose of each individual gadget.