Smellstation: Sony Experimenting with Adding Smells to Your Entertainment

Sony has recently filed a patent for a device to expel dynamic aromas to match home entertainment, including video games.

The patent, filed on February 4th, 2021, outlines a technology that would provide scents during video play using haptic feedback. This could be used while watching streams, listening to music, or even while directly playing a game. The Playstation Dualshock controller currently has haptic technology to improve gameplay experience, however the new patent features technology not currently implemented with any released products.

It is speculated that this new technology may be applied to the rumored PSVR 2. A similar patent filed in November 2020 details a new motion controller with haptic capabilities.

Drawings found within the patent detailing its use with a VR Headset

This technology may also be linked to Sony’s “Aromastic” scent expelling device. Introduced in October 2016, the scent emitter is labeled as a “personal portable aroma diffuser,” that is similar in size as a tube of lipstick and capable of producing 5 distinct scents on cue.

This aroma technology is far from a new concept. In fact, for more than 150 years the idea to use smell to enhance entertainment has floated around in one way or another. Walt Disney attempted to use smells to increase audience engagement in 1940’s Fantasia, and in 1868 a perfume was sprayed into the Alhambra Theatre of Variety in London in an attempt to captivate the audience during a performance of The Fairy Acorn Tree.

Does this new scent based technology intrigue you? While I can imagine it being nice to smell the lush forest or the salt of the sea when the scene calls for it during a video game, I also don’t want to imagine the kinds of smells I’d encounter in a game such as Resident Evil or The Last of Us. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Patent

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