Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fragrant Films

I was excited to read on Yahoo News "Movie fans bored with hi-tech sound effects and graphics will soon be able to experience cinematic smells". My first guess was some company like Digiscents had finally made good on their promise of being able to permute and combine the basic smell types to create the full olafactory spectrum. So I was dissappointed by a system considerably cruder " The six smells, which include forests and citrus, are released under cinemagoers' seats."

Years from now this may well read like the first attempt to make a talkie movie. You started with a live orchestra playing backstage and moved on to better things. Maybe there is hope for scent technology yet. I was never quite able to figure why VCs did not think Digiscents had potential.

I remember trying to convince R (my ex) that we should take a look at their API (which they were giving away to developers for free along with the SDK), because this could be huge if it worked out. R had smiled at me indulgently and said "You go ahead. I much rather figure out WAP and mCommerce stuff". This was 1999. Its not for nothing that they pay him what they do to be technology evangelist.

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