Adrian David Cheok is director of the Mixed Reality Lab which „aims to push the boundaries of research into interactive new media technologies through the combination of technology, art, and creativity“ (Website Mixed Reality Lab). He is editor of several academic journals and of the book „Love and Sex with Robots“ (together with Kate Devlin and David Levy) which was published in 2017. In a current press release, he presents an electric smell machine for internet and virtual smell. „Here we are excited to introduce the world’s ﬁrst computer controlled digital device developed to stimulate olfactory receptor neurons with the aim of producing smell sensations purely using electrical pulses. Using this device, now we can easily stimulate the various areas of nasal cavity with different kinds of electric pulses. During the initial user experiments, some participants experienced smell sensations including ﬂoral, fruity, chemical, and woody. In addition, we have observed a difference in the ability of smelling odorants before and after the electrical stimulation. These results suggest that this technology could be enhanced to artiﬁcially create and modify smell sensations. By conducting more experiments with human subjects, we are expecting to uncover the patterns of electrical stimulations, that can effectively generate, modify, and recall smell sensations. This invention can lead to internet and virtual reality digital smell.“ (Press Release, 10 August 2017) More via imagineeringinstitute.org/press-release-electric-smell-machine-for-internet-virtual-smell/.
Fig.: Towards the digital smell