About 10-15 years ago I read in a computer newspaper about a (then) new device that looked like a shark-fin (and may have had “shark” in its name), that would allow users to “print” odor using little cartridges similar to what solid-ink printers use. To be specific, it did not apply odor to a page like a “scratch-n-sniff”, but rather, it would emit the odor into the air.

Obviously it never took off, but it was a most interesting device, and with “smell-o-scope” for movies like Spy Kids 4, I have been thinking about it recently.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any mention of the device now, nor do I remember its name or manufacturer. I found a small handful of pages that mention similar via Google, but those are all recent (~2010).

Does anyone have information about the original one?

closed as off topic by Tom Wijsman, Mokubai, digitxp, Linker3000, MaQleod Aug 26 '11 at 22:58

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  • Hmm, some down-vote-and-runners don’t like the question, but I have no idea why. roll – Synetech Aug 26 '11 at 20:51
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    As geeks, years and years of Domino's and microwave meals has numbed our noses to the point where we believe that the idea of smell is heresy! – digitxp Aug 26 '11 at 20:53
  • What’s wrong with that new-plastic smell? – Synetech Aug 26 '11 at 20:55
  • If you bought a prepaid T-Mobile phone anytime in the last year or so, they start the manual with "Ahh, that new phone smell. Let's begin." Which makes you feel extremely offended that they would take advantage of the fact that you have a nose. :-) – digitxp Aug 26 '11 at 21:00
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    I’m not sure how the identification of a computer peripheral is off-topic, but I’ve come to expect this here. – Synetech Aug 27 '11 at 1:27

It's the DigiScent iSmell. Listed as one of the top 25 worst tech products ever by PCworld:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • The iSmell was 2001. I can’t say for sure about the timeline, but I suppose it could fit. (I feel like it was before that, before we moved here for me to go to uni, but it may have been after, so I guess this could be it.) It certainly has the right look. – Synetech Aug 26 '11 at 20:54
  • Yeah it is a bit newer but I figured I'd drop it in here :) – n0pe Aug 26 '11 at 20:56
  • I’ve got a big box full of old computer newspapers, and I’m fairly sure the one I mentioned is in there. Unfortunately there are ~100 in there, so it would take forever to search through. However, if I’m lucky (and I never am), maybe searching just the ones ~2001 will help. – Synetech Aug 26 '11 at 21:10

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