Be part of the scent revolution

Be part of the “scent revolution” is the slogan of an interesting new company that is making headlines on the Net: DigiScents. When I first heard about this company, which promises to deliver smells to your computer the way you now receive graphics and sounds, I was skeptical, to say the least, and suspected that maybe an elaborate hoax was at play.

It appears that the rat I smelled doesn’t exist, if you believe the video available at The company has just signed an agreement with RealPlayer (who make the industry-standard audio and video software you probably already use) to send smells over the Net to your computer.

I may be a cynic, but can you take this statement from DigiScents seriously? “In the next months, the world will watch as DigiScents unveils its revolutionary iSmell computer peripheral, and the DigiScents experience becomes imbedded in Web sites, DVDs, games, in short all manner of digital media.”

The company says it is now creating the world’s first “snortal”, a site that invites the general public to participate in this exciting new art form of “scentography.” The site is expeed to launch in spring 2000, coinciding with the release of the “iSmell” (this is not a joke) hardware to the consumer market.

I think that the world will be sniffing rather than watching, but who knows? The commercial ideas behind this include website and ecommerce applications. For example, when you visit a florist’s website, you’ll have the scent of flowers wafting from your computer. Or fresh baked bread from a bakery site, or a nice marinara sauce from an Italian restaurant. What happens when you log on to your city Sanitation Department’s website is another matter, best considered when (and if) this new Smell-O-Vision becomes reality.