I came across an article on the BBC website that I have to share with you. It talks about the sense of smell, this sense often neglected and yet indispensable when tasting a spirit (as we remind here).
This article relates attempts of TV communicating not only sound & images but also smell. Here is the source and an extract of the article:
In the movie era, attempts to add scent began as early as 1916, when one cinema owner accented a showing of the annual Rose Bowl American Football game with rose oil.
Then came Smellovision (or, as it was initially called, Scentovision). Unveiled at the World’s Fair in New York in 1939, it was little more than a series of pipes attached to viewers’ chairs through which a projectionist could deliver smell in sync with the images they were showing. The technology only gained popular attention in 1960 when it was revived in slightly simplified form for the release of Scent of Mystery.
A thriller starring an uncredited Elizabeth Taylor, key plot points were accented with scents piped into the auditorium at large, such as when the assassin smoked a pipe. The film, and Smellovision itself, was a flop, largely because the scent technology worked so poorly – a hiccup in timing could cause problems, and the scents were too diffuse to give a satisfactory experience. Clearing an odour in a timely fashion for the next to waft freely was also troublesome.
A rival system, known as Aromarama, displayed similar shortcomings.
Why this extract? Because it’s quite interesting, but above all it shows that the desire to communicate smells has been there for a long time. But it is very difficult and very expensive. It’s expensive because it’s difficult to do and it’s difficult because unlike colors, we rarely agree on smells, and the effects they have on us.
You’ll tell me, we still don’t understand what this has to do with spirits.
But what if you went to a store and tapped on a computer that would transmit to your brain the smell and taste of a wine or a spirit?
Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t that avoid a lot of deceptions?
This brings me to another invention that I discovered thanks to Olivia Jezler (great instagram account!) which seems to be a little closer to reality.
A Japanese professor has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavors, another step towards creating a multi-sensory viewing experience.
The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The flavor sample then rolls on hygienic film over a flat TV screen for the viewer to try.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know, blindly, which spirit one is attracted to? Or the pleasure of a rum without the health effects?
What do you think about it?