Smell-O-Vision Definition


Cinematography with the addition of olfaction, often portrayed as futuristic or far-fetched.


A system that released odors during the projection of a motion picture, thereby allowing the audience to not only see the film but also to smell it, so to speak. Created by Hans Laube, SmellO-Vision was used in only one film, Scent of Mystery (1960), produced by Mike Todd, Jr. On cue, the system released odors (e.g., garlic, pipe smoke, and shoeshine wax) from small tubes hidden under the audience seats.The result apparently was awful, as the odors did not reach all members of the audience at the same time and at the same strength. The odors also lingered and mixed with other odors to create unwanted and unpleasant combinations.The concept of a smellie was reintroduced briefly by filmmaker John Waters in the film Polyester (1980). Waters used scratch and sniff cards in his Odorama process. Smell-O-Vision was revived by some Japanese theaters for the movie The New World (2005), with the scent generators controlled and synchronized through the Internet by NTT Communications Corp., the Japanese telecommunications carrier.Various systems have been proposed to work in conjunction with television but have encountered technical difficulties thus far.While Smell-O-Vision can be considered a form of multimedia, odor as a communications medium thankfully seems to be an evolutionary dead end. See also multimedia.

Webster's New World Telecom

Origin of Smell-O-Vision

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