Digital Smell Interface

Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Technology in communication is rapidly growth in the past years. Scientist and researchers are competing to give the best way of connecting people through communication. Currently, our daily lives are deeply ingrained with digital communication and the technology now have been develop until all human senses could be digitize to have more interactive experience. Most of our daily activities can be captured, shared and experienced as images, audio, and video using digital devices. When we watch a movie, we experience the stimulation of sights and sounds. Then what about the sense of smell? This project presents the first digital technology developed for transmission of smell through digital networks. The digital stimulation of smell is considered as a useful step in expanding the technology related to multisensory communication. Previous methods for activating the sensation of smell chemically, has obvious disadvantages such as being complex, expensive and lower controllability. Most importantly, smells exist in molecular forms making it impossible to communicate over a distance. Therefore, generating smell sensations without chemicals is becoming highly significant for our increasingly digitized world. We propose a digital interface for actuating smell sensations. This is done by stimulating the olfactory receptors of the nasal concha using weak electrical pulses.


  1. 1.
    Bodnar A, Corbett R, Nekrasovski D (2004) Aroma: ambient awareness through olfaction in a messaging application. In: Proceedings of the 6th international conference on Multimodal interfaces. ACM, pp 183–190Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Choi Y, Cheok AD, Roman X, Sugimoto K, Halupka V et al (2011) Sound perfume: designing a wearable sound and fragrance media for face-to-face interpersonal interaction. In: Proceedings of the 8th international conference on advances in computer entertainment technology. ACM, p 4Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    McGookin D, Escobar D (2016) Hajukone: developing an open source olfactory device. In: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems. ACM, pp 1721–1728Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ramos G, Boulos M, Balakrishnan R (2004) Pressure widgets. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, pp 487–494Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Seah SA, Martinez Plasencia D, Bennett PD, Karnik A, Otrocol VS, Knibbe J, Cockburn A, Subramanian S (2014) Sensabubble: a chrono-sensory mid-air display of sight and smell. In: Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM, pp 2863–2872Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Warnock D, McGee-Lennon M, Brewster S (2011) The role of modality in notification performance. In: IFIP conference on human-computer interaction. Springer, pp 572–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Washburn DA, Jones LM (2004) Could olfactory displays improve data visualization? Comput Sci Eng 6(6):80–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yanagida Y, Noma H, Tetsutani N, Tomono A (2003) An unencumbering, localized olfactory display. In: CHI’03 extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems. ACM, pp 988–989Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nakaizumi F, Noma H, Hosaka K, Yanagida Y (2006) Spotscents: a novel method of natural scent delivery using multiple scent projectors. In: Virtual reality conference, 2006. IEEE, pp 207–214Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Narumi T, Nishizaka S, Kajinami T, Tanikawa T, Hirose M (2011) Augmented reality flavors: gustatory display based on edible marker and cross-modal interaction. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM, pp 93–102Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yamada T, Yokoyama S, Tanikawa T, Hirota K, Hirose M (2006) Wearable olfactory display: using odor in outdoor environment. In: Virtual reality conference, 2006. IEEE, pp 199–206Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dobbelstein D, Herrdum S, Rukzio E (2017) Inscent: a wearable olfactory display as an amplification for mobile notifications. In: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM international symposium on wearable computers. ACMGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Heilig LM (1962) Sensorama simulator (August 28 1962) US Patent 3,050,870Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Beavers J, McGovern T, Adler V (1982) Diaprepes abbreviatus 1: laboratory and field behavioral and attractancy studies 2. Environ Entomol 11(2):436–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Karunanayaka K, Saadiah H, Shahroom H, Cheok AD (2017) Methods to develop a low cost olfactometer for multisensory, psychology and neuroscience experiments. In: Proceedings of the 43rd annual conference of the IEEE industrial electronics society, Beijing, China. ACMGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    SMC (2017) Smc ac30d-02cg-a fr/ms combo modular, ac mass proGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schredl M, Atanasova D, Hörmann K, Maurer JT, Hummel T, Stuck BA (2009) Information processing during sleep: the effect of olfactory stimuli on dream content and dream emotions. J Sleep Res 18(3):285–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schönbein CF (1851) On some secondary physiological effects produced by atmospheric electricity. Medico-chirurgical Trans 1:205–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yamamoto C (1961) Olfactory bulb potentials to electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa. Jpn J Physiol 11(5):545–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ishimaru T, Sakumoto M, Kimura Y, Furukawa M (1996) Olfactory evoked potentials produced by electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa. Auris Nasus Larynx 23(1):98–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ishimaru T, Shimada T, Sakumoto M, Miwa T, Kimura Y, Furukawa M (1997) Olfactory evoked potential produced by electrical stimulation of the human olfactory mucosa. Chem Senses 22(1):77–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kumar G, Juhász C, Sood S, Asano E (2012) Olfactory hallucinations elicited by electrical stimulation via subdural electrodes: effects of direct stimulation of olfactory bulb and tract. Epilepsy Behav 24(2):264–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ishimaru T, Miwa T, Shimada T, Furukawa M (2002) Electrically stimulated olfactory evoked potential in olfactory disturbance. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 111(6):518–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Uziel A (1972) Stimulation of human olfactory neuro-epithelium by long-term continuous electrical currents. J Physiol 66(4):409–422Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Weiss T, Shushan S, Ravia A, Hahamy A, Secundo L, Weissbrod A, Ben-Yakov A, Holtzman Y, Cohen-Atsmoni S, Roth Y et al (2016) From nose to brain: Un-sensed electrical currents applied in the nose alter activity in deep brain structures. Cereb Cortex 26(11):4180–4191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mayerhoff E (2016) “The electric shock questions” #bingo #chi2005. BLOG (2005). Accessed Mar 2016
  27. 27.
    Linear Technology (2009) 200mA 2-terminal programmable current source. Rev C 2Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Fausto N, Campbell JS, Riehle KJ (2012) Liver regeneration. J Hepatol 57(3):692–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Scully SM (2014) The animals that taste only saltinessGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Roper SD (2013) Taste buds as peripheral chemosensory processors. In: Seminars in cell and developmental biology, vol 24. Elsevier, pp 71–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mayerhoff E (2005) The electric shock questions, effects and symptomsGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Astelin A (2017) Azelastine nasal sprayGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rojas-Líbano D, Kay LM (2012) Interplay between sniffing and odorant sorptive properties in the rat. J Neurosci 32(44):15577–15589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mainland J, Sobel N (2006) The sniff is part of the olfactory percept. Chem Senses 31(2):181–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Castro JB, Ramanathan A, Chennubhotla CS (2013) Categorical dimensions of human odor descriptor space revealed by non-negative matrix factorization. PloS one 8(9):e73289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lapid H, Hummel T (2012) Recording odor-evoked response potentials at the human olfactory epithelium. Chem Senses, bjs073Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Rawson NE, Ozdener MH (2013) Primary culture of the human olfactory neuroepithelium. In: Epithelial cell culture protocols, 2nd Edn, pp 81–93Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Féron F, Perry C, McGrath JJ, Mackay-Sim A (1998) New techniques for biopsy and culture of human olfactory epithelial neurons. Arch Otolaryngol-head Neck Surg 124(8):861–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Uziel A (1973) Stimulation of human olfactory neuro-epithelium by long-term continuous electrical currents. J Physiol 66(4):409–422Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Vogel R (2016) Understanding anodal and cathodal stimulationGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fleiner F, Lau L, Göktas Ö (2012) Active olfactory training for the treatment of smelling disorders. Ear Nose Throat J 91(5):198Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Imagineering InstituteIskandar PuteriMalaysia
  2. 2.City, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations