The iSmell story has been shared by so many attempts to incorporate smells into the digital world… In this case the goal was clear: to incorporate smells into the internet.
- Why did iSmell fail?
- How iSmell worked?
- Are there current systems compatible with iSmell?
- With what technology can I digitize smells today?
Why did iSmell fail?
As in so many other things, there is no single reason… The lack of investment, the difficulty to reproduce realistic smells, and we add: maybe it was too early, and the market was not ready to add a new sensation to something relatively new like the internet…
The adventure lasted about 6 years (1999 – 2005). In 2006, PC World magazine listed iSmell as “one of the 25 worst inventions of all time”, which confirmed the abandonment of the project.
How iSmell worked?
iSmell (DigiScents Inc) set itself a very ambitious goal: to be able to transmit smells by email, when visiting a website, or even in videogames… awesome! The system needed agreements (in reality they were their customers) with the owners of the websites, or by the video game developers, who would pay DigiScents to be able to offer their users the smells.
The “invention” was connected to the PC via USB. Furthermore, iSmell was intended not only to use “pre-loaded” scents, but to generate new scents from the scent cartridges it contained (similar to what printers do).
Are there current systems compatible with iSmell?
It has been proven that with current technology it is not possible to reproduce realistic scents from primary smells or basic essences (as is the case with colours).
With what technology can I digitize smells today?
So to find a professional system that can activate scents by software, voice or API we have to go to Olorama Technology, the only effective digital scent technology available in 2021.
Olorama offers scent generators with up to 10 different smells (more smells can be used simultaneously by simply replicating the number of scent generators). Olorama only incorporates ultra-realistic smells, which allows to enrich any audiovisual or playful experience with a new sense: the sense of smell…
(For a list of the most popular smells visit the section SMELLS in the top menu)
Olorama allows to incorporate smells in:
- Virtual Reality with smells
- Movies with smells
- Museums with smells
- Escape Rooms
- Events with smells
Here is a short video on how Olorama can be incorporated into homes: