London: Now, smell the coffee on your television! Japanese scientists have developed a `smelling screen` that allows you to see as well as smell the coffee or food displayed on it.
The "smelling screen", invented by Haruka Matsukura at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and colleagues, makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on any LCD screen that is displaying the image of a cup of coffee, for example.
It works by continuously feeding odours from vaporising gel pellets into four air streams, one in each corner of the screen.
These air streams are blown out parallel to the screen`s surface by fans, and varying the strength and direction of them manoeuvres the scent to any given spot on the screen.
The airflow is gentle enough to create the illusion that the smell is actually wafting from a digital object on-screen, New Scientist reported.
The current system only pumps out one scent at a time, but Matsukura said the next stage is to incorporate a cartridge, like those for printers, which allows smells to be changed easily.
Matsukura suggested it could also be used to enhance advertising screens and museum exhibits.
The screen was shown at the IEEE Virtual Reality conference in Orlando, Florida, last month.