Smelling screen: development and evaluation of an olfactory display system for presenting a virtual odor source


We propose a new olfactory display system that can generate an odor distribution on a two-dimensional display screen. The proposed system has four fans on the four corners of the screen. The airflows that are generated by these fans collide multiple times to create an airflow that is directed towards the user from a certain position on the screen. By introducing odor vapor into the airflows, the odor distribution is as if an odor source had been placed onto the screen. The generated odor distribution leads the user to perceive the odor as emanating from a specific region of the screen. The position of this virtual odor source can be shifted to an arbitrary position on the screen by adjusting the balance of the airflows from the four fans. Most users do not immediately notice the odor presentation mechanism of the proposed olfactory display system because the airflow and perceived odor come from the display screen rather than the fans. The airflow velocity can even be set below the threshold for airflow sensation, such that the odor alone is perceived by the user. We present experimental results that show the airflow field and odor distribution that are generated by the proposed system. We also report sensory test results to show how the generated odor distribution is perceived by the user and the issues that must be considered in odor presentation.

Authors: Matsukura H, Yoneda T, Ishida H


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