CES 2011: From Surround Sound To Surround Smell

ScentScape updates Smell-O-Vision and connects it to the computer.

1 min read
CES 2011: From Surround Sound To Surround Smell

We expect to see movies and games in 3D and listen to them in surround sound. But will we soon expect to smell them as well?

Folks have tried to implement surround smell for decades. AromaRama, Smell-O-Vision, and Odorama, lie among the attempts that just never caught on.

A little company called Scent Sciences is taking another run at it. Its ScentScape is a USB peripheral for computers and game systems that emits odors on cue—be they the smells of spices to accompany a cooking video, pictured, or the smell of a forest or ocean as avatars move through a game environment.

The company is selling its peripheral for $20, with software that allows consumers to add scents to home movies. Truthfully, that’s not something I’m likely to do; transferring movie files to DVD is already enough of a chore. But, the company is not placing its bets on the home movie package; it hopes other manufacturers will incorporate its system into next generation game and other products.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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