Forget 3D - Add SMELL To Your Games

By Christmas of this year, you’ll be able to lay down $70 for the ability to smell the action in your favorite game. Or movie.

Imagine tearing around a curve in Gran Turismo 5 and smelling the strong odor of burning rubber. Or you pop Inception in the Blu-ray and the movie opens on Leonardo DiCaprio washing up on the shore, barely conscious. As the scene begins, you catch a whiff of salty sea air.

It sounds gimmicky at first, but I think once experienced — if it works as advertised — it could be pretty cool.

ScentScape is finally bringing the concept of smell-o-vision to the world via a USB-connected device that’s expected to “enhance immersion” in your entertainment experiences. It comes with about 20 pre-loaded basic smells, but is capable of accepting extra “smell cartridges” that could contain specialty scents for a specific game or movie. It also comes with an app that lets users create their own scents and share them with others.

You can even adjust the “volume,” to keep the programmed smells from overwhelming you. According to ScentSciences, the company behind ScentScape, the device could even be put to more creative uses like assigning a unique scent “color” to the Na’vi in Avatar, so that viewers will smell the Na’vi approaching before they’re ever visible.

For now, ScentScape is only equipped to run on Windows-based systems, but it could eventually be licensed by console manufacturers or game producers.

With 3D visuals overtaking the entertainment industry, and now the possibility of adding greater immersion to another of the five senses… We’re all thinking the same thing, right? These are steps on the road to the inevitable: holodeck technology. What could be more immersive than being in the game or the movie — or at least watching it from up-close-and-personal?

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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