Thanks to 3-D movies and Dolby surround sound virtual reality is on the march--and how much more realistic would a film or -IV show be if a barbecue actually smelled of grilled meat or if you could get a whiff of a sea breeze when the protagonist takes his love for an evening stroll on the beach? This type of experience may become common for the home television viewer in the not-too-distant future.
In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a team led by Jongmin Kim at Samsung Electronics in Korea and Sungho Jin at the University of California, San Diego, has introduced a new approach for making a compact device that could fit on the back of a television to produce thousands of different scents.
Previous technologies for the controlled release of scents were not simple enough and much too crude for the sensitive electronics of our televisions and video players. An odor module needs to be small and robust and deliver results that are reproducible over multiple cycles; the response should be rapid and the user able to regulate the strength of the odor. Kim, Jin, and their coworkers aim to overr come these challenges with their new concept. …