This Smellslike That
As the development of our internet-of-smells device gathers pace, I thought it might be a good time to explain where we are currently are with everything.
The Smell of Success prototype was a one function device - it connected to your computer via USB and sprayed out a smell every time one of your tweets was re-tweeted. More than anything, it was the software that was determining this function, not the hardware. And software can be changed much more easily than hardware. What we had built, essentially, was an internet connected smell device, which, depending on the coding, could produce smells in reaction to all manner of web interactions.
We started to think of how we could use a more developed version of the device as a platform for others to experiment with their own personal uses for smelling the internet. Using an interaction similar to that employed by the brilliant ifttt.com, we can employ a simple cause and effect approach to choosing what it does - for example, if I get a retweet on twitter, then my device will produce the smell of lemon.
From this came the name “smellslike”, which poses the device as a mediator between internet interactions and smells in the real world. A retweet smellslike lemon. An e-mail smellslike chocolate. Whatever you like. And, we hope, as people play with this more and more, some really interesting interpretations will start to emerge.