Just for the Smell of it: Scent-Emitting LCD Displays

Every time I go to a city by a bay, like San Francisco or Seattle, I am completely saturated by an array of scents. They wash over me like multiple waves from the high-priced restaurants with views of the water, and I am compelled to shell out my money for expensive food.

A Japanese company known as Recruit Co Ltd. has found a way to follow their nose to make people some money by using special displays. These unique advertising devices, developed by NTT Communications Corporation, have a 42-inch LCD display that not only show food, but emit mouth-watering aromas.

I’m sure you see the idea. Potential customers are baited by the smells, they approach the display, and they are hooked. Restaurants can even sweeten the deal by including a coupon that will really reel them in.

Of course, I’m not certain how the smell is emitted. What is this, a scratch n’ sniff sticker that doesn’t need any scratching? Maybe the restaurant actually prepares one of its dishes, and then just puts a fan behind it.

Whatever the technology, low-tech or high, I think it is about time the nose got its share of advertising. Scent is a far better lure than anything we can see or hear by far.