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Telewest tests out smelly Email

# 19 March 2004, 17:52 by Frank

According to Usability News, cable company Telewest Broadband is currently testing new technology that brings a new sense to the internet, allowing users to send and receive a variety of aromas whilst surfing the net.

The product, known as “ScentMail”, involves a high-speed, broadband internet connection, enabling people to send and receive codes to special ‘scent domes,’ which mix liquid smells and spray them into the air around the PC.

Domes, costing about £250, plug in like a printer or scanner and are used to release the smells into your home. Initially, each scent dome contains 20 aromas that can be mixed to produce up to 60 different smells but up to 2,000 scents could be available in the future.

Telewest predicts that uses could include smelling the sea and suntan lotion while taking a virtual tour of your chosen destination, and the smell of turf while watching horse racing on your PC screen.

Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, says that Telewest is helping to ‘humanise’ cyberspace by using technology to re-create more primitive forms of communication.

’...this additional element to the internet will enhance users’ online experience by adding that crucial third dimension,’ said Ms Fox.

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