The Long, Hard Quest to Create Digital Smells – Facts So Romantic

Of all of the wondrous feats accomplished by Willy Wonka in his candy factory, the most impressive may have been wedging an entire meal into just one unassuming stick of gum: Upon popping it in your mouth and chewing, you’d first taste tomato soup, then roast beef and baked potato, and finally blueberry pie and cream. This trick seems purely fantastic, but what if a device could really deliver experiences like that? Imagine a gizmo that can bring back the smell and taste of meals long gone, like a beloved grandmother’s drop cookies, the first bite of one’s wedding cake, or the aroma of baked shad from a fishing tradition now seldom practiced. Imagine all of your scents and tastes stored as files alongside music and movies in the digital cloud, ready for re-experience or sharing with friends across social media.

According to one electrical engineer committed to elevating human digital communication, this extension of our digital life is closer to download than you might think. Adrian David Cheok, the founder and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, and a professor of pervasive computing at City University London, has long been interested in finding…
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