FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

XML That Smells

A Spanish university researcher claims to have developed an XML language that can transmit smells. The code (dubbed "XML Smell") would command a "smell palate" on a PC, mobile phone or other device to emit a specific odor at a given time.

At first blush, the idea sounds ridiculous. One might even smell a rat (rimshot, please!) We can only imagine what some smart-alecky 10-year-olds would do with this on their blogs and websites, after all. But the concept of transmitting smells electronically has practical applications. Devices are in the works that would, for example, detect gas leaks and other toxic odors, measure air pollution, or help prevent social embarassment by warning the owner of bad breath and other offensive body odor.

Source: Textually.org