Basics for Olfactory Display

Basics for Olfactory Display

Yasuyuki Yanagida (Meijo University, Japan) and Akira Tomono (Tokai University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2521-1.ch003
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An olfactory display, which is the olfactory counterpart to a visual display, is controlled by a computer or information equipment and provides smells to a human user. Because we sense smells through the air, the role of an olfactory display is to make scented air from odor materials in a stocked form with the desired components and concentration and to deliver the scented air to the human olfactory organ. This chapter provides a survey of various technologies, categorized by scent generation methods and scent delivery methods, used to construct an olfactory display. For scent generation methods, vaporization/atomization techniques, scent switching techniques, and formulation techniques are discussed. For scent delivery methods, several approaches to convey odor material from the scent generator to the nose are discussed. In addition, a brief description of evaluation methods of olfactory displays is provided.
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Technological Aspects Of Olfactory Displays

Unlike sensory channels for which display technologies are already highly developed, such as visual and auditory senses, olfaction is a chemical sense. This fact makes it difficult to introduce olfactory displays in a similar manner to sensory channels based on physical stimuli. One of the characteristics specific to a chemical sense is its nonlinearity. The change of intensity of the stimuli (i.e., concentration of the odor material) can result in a qualitative change in subjective sensation. For example, a chemical compound that is recognized as having a good smell when its concentration is low can turn into a bad smell if the concentration is increased.

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