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Computer-Controlled Smell Output

By: Joseph Kaye, Culturally Embedded Computing Group, Information Science, Cornell University
Posted: May 11, 2006

What are the technologies? Which dispersal techniques work in which situations? What are the implications for fragrance formulators and, by extension, raw material suppliers? Joseph “Jofish” Kaye begins this lively discussion.

The key advantage of computercontrolled output, in whatever form it takes, is the ability to control when a scent is emitted. This seems so trivial as to be hardly worth mentioning, but is the key advantage that computer control brings to the application of aroma output. Some applications have an added advantage of allowing control over smell quality, specifying which aroma is output on cue. Perfumers have understood the role of time in their creations since time imme– morial — the progressive scents of top, middle and base notes in a perfume, diffusing over time. Being able to control onset time without direct action on behalf of the user is a key change in the way we think of scent.

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