Smell Interface is a device that attempts to provide people with more broad smell experiences and to return lost smells.
A lot of people experience parosmia, an affliction causing them to smell different or nasty smells instead of the “real” smell. Smell is really important for enjoying food. Imagine what it would be like to be ordering pizza and you open .smell file instead of looking at .jpgs? What would smell browsing generally be like on the internet?
Smell Interface can also be used to treat those who have lost smell. By stimulation of the olfactory bulb, people could train their smell back or use digital smell as a prosthetic enhancement.
Actually, people can train their smell to get better. Human smell is known to be disadvantaged compared to that of many animals. What would it be like if we could smell as a dog does? The stimulation of our olfactory bulbs may be a solution.
Smell is very emotional and connected to our memory. We smell not only with our nose, but with our body – smell communicates our bodily knowledge. In comparison with vision, smell is very subjective. Will it be possible that with such technologies we could open the door to full control of our memories and emotions? We can all imagine different smells, even if they are abstract. For example, the smell of protest or of a summer night.
Our imagination is very powerful, and therefore, will there ever be a need to mechanically reproduce smells if we can just imagine them?