Few things are as stimulating to our memory as our sense of smell. It not only has the power to bring back vivid images and experiences, but can also manipulate our emotions in an uncanny way. And yet in our day-to-day activities, we have very limited control over the smells to which we are subjected.
A British designer, Jenny Tillotson, wants to put an end to this unruly world of haphazard stimulation and give each person a fully controllable ‘scent bubble’ that is activated with high-tech clothing.
It’s called Smart Second Skin and it might redefine how we shop for our clothes. This technology calls for a system of ‘micro pumps’ and ‘micro tubes’ that work together to produce fragrances that are pulsed electronically, giving the wearer a suitable olfactory aura.
The most basic form of this technology would generate simple aromatherapy to enhance mood but Tillotson tells Innovation News Daily that the system can be used in a more sophisticated way as a regulator. If the clothing is combined with biometrics that measure stress indicators, then soothing or calming scents could be released whenever the stress levels exceeded a certain threshold. Similarily, refreshing or alerting scents can be used to fight drowsiness.
Perhaps more significantly, because of the strong relationship between memory and the sense of smell, the technology may one day be used to stimulate the brains of Alzheimer’s patients in a futuristic version of Reminiscence Therapy.
Credit: Jenny Tillotson