Samsung tests smell-equipped TV

Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung and the University of California have concluded a two-year trial into TV sets equipped with a module that releases smells associated with the on-screen content.

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in Korea, the company’s cutting-edge R&D hub, and the University of California have published a paper, An X–Y Addressable Matrix Odor-Releasing System Using an On–Off Switchable Device, detailing the successful results of their work. It explains how the research team used a novel polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer-based device to demonstrate a system for releasing specific gases. The smells created by the gases are triggered by a heating element and 10,000 different smells can be created with the Samsung system.

The smell-release unit is small enough to be used in other devices aside from TV sets including mobile phones. Using smell in relation to visual content and entertainment has been tried before. “Smell-o-vision” was trialled in movie theatres as far back as the 1950s.

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