Don’t just print a picture of an apple, print how it smells


Researchers in Japan are looking at a new method of printing that not only prints an image to paper, but also lets you smell what the image should smell like.
We’ve heard of recent attempts to revive the “Smell-O-Vision” concept for movie theatres, an idea that would let you smell what the director has envisioned in motion pictures.
The scent printer is very different, however.
Using scent droplets in the place of ink droplets, the Japanese team of researchers has found that fragrances of apple, cinnamon, lavender, vanilla, mint, lemon, and grapefruit can be smelled on paper, but dissipates quickly.
Another hurdle with scent printing has to do with cameras not being able to capture scent information. Obviously, right now when you take a photo, you’re recording the image of what you see and not everything else from the environment. Without this information, scents have to be designed and configured by hand.
But give the researchers enough time and we’ll probably see this sort of technology make its way into cameras and video cameras too, once they’ve got the whole “print a smell” concept working well.