This Device Shoots Smells Anime Smells At Your Face
Reader, I hate how quickly I managed to make this image. Image: Trigger / CD Projekt Red / Netflix / Kotaku / artpartner-images (Getty Images)
It’s official: the ability to sniff shows and movies is finally here.
The latest technology in question, called the Aroma Shooter, was unveiled today at CES 2023 by Japanese-based developer Aromajoin. Aroma Shooter can “digitize aromas and create a new communication channel in the same family as text, images and audio.” If you’re not at CES this weekend, fear not, you can watch her demo video below:
Smell-O-Vsion products are nothing new to the entertainment medium. If you’re a millennial like me, you may have experienced the 4D trick in action for the 2003 theatrical run of Rugrats Go Wild! which featured The Wild Thornberrys. However, instead of scrunching up a scented parchment paper while watching a movie or movie, the Aroma Shooter… well, it blasts scents in your face.
Aroma Shooter involves the use of two pieces of technology: the shooter itself and the aroma cartridge. Instead of using oils or mists, the scent cartridge is a solid-state device that can apparently “switch between scents in 0.1 seconds and blend the change of scents instantly without lingering sensations.” When combined with the aromatizer, a device PCGamer described as a wireless gadget that sucks in air and creates the aroma released toward the nose, you’ve got some media to smell.
As the video above shows, users can program the Aroma Shooter’s 100+ scents to blast scents into their face holes in sync with a TV show, VR game, or anime like Quintessential Quintuplets or Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. For those curious, the featured scents for QQ are cherry blossom, grape and peach. The Edgerunners demo clip featured smoke, caramel, coffee and cloves. Chances are, they’re still figuring out what cyberpsychosis smells like. You can also create your own flavored viewing experience by linking a YouTube video to the software and time-coding when your tech-snoofs occur.
While I think the technology is impressive in passing, I’m not exactly sold on the practical day-to-day use of it. Although the thought of programming the Aroma Shooter to its maximum capacity to scent bomb my apartment with gourmet food from every Studio Ghibli film is tempting, I can’t see myself using this ridiculously expensive device. I’m a lazy whore who has enough imagination to carry me through watching anime characters gobbled up with food that looks better than real life. If the day comes when Elon Musk’s Neuralink chips take off and the smells of my childhood memories are covered (you know he thought about it), then we’ll talk.
Here’s the catch: The Aroma Shooter 2 packaged with six aroma cartridges will set you back $998. If you have enough disposable income to request more individual cartridges, they will cost you $54 each. Currently, Aromajoin is working on funding a VR/AR attachment for its uncomfortable device, too.