Smell-O-Vision will soon be a reality. You will be able to smell what is going on in your favorite movie or television show. Some refer to this phenomenon as “4D” since it adds another dimension to the 3D experience currently available.
Imagine watching TV at home and a commercial for McDonald’s comes on. You may be able to actually smell the Big Mac and fries. Or you may be watching Downton Abbey and catch a whiff of Lady Grantham’s perfume accompanied by a convenient button on the side of the screen that allows you to order her scent.
This new dimension in entertainment will remake and create industries. Especially once 4D TV makes it’s way in to a significant number of households. The perfume and cologne industry have much to gain from 4D. Food and dining establishments could also use this technology to promote their products. But what about the more subtle influences and uses of 4D TV?
Smell is a direct path to the emotional center of our minds. A familiar smell can spark an intense memory. A disgusting scent can cause instant dislike.
What would it be like to watch The President speak on TV and occasionally smell his after shave? That’s an endorsement Gillete might like to have! Or what if a political candidate decided to pipe in the smell of apple pie into your living room as you watched his speech? How might that effect the way you perceive that person? On the dark side of things, what if CNN brought you the smell of war and it’s aftermath? That memory might stick with you for quite some time.
In elementary school I did a science project that explored the link between scent and taste. I will never forget how participants in the project could be induced into having taste hallucinations simply by introducing a smell while they were eating. Smell has a big influence on how many of us perceive the world. The power of smell should not be underestimated.