Opportunities for odor: Experiences with smell and implications for technology

Marianna Obrist, AN Tuch, K Hornbæk
in Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, Conference paper (text)

Abstract

Technologies for capturing and generating smell are emerging, and our ability to engineer such technologies and use them in HCI is rapidly developing. Our understanding of how these technologies match the experiences with smell that people have or want to have is surprisingly limited. We therefore investigated the experience of smell and the emotions that accompany it. We collected stories from 439 participants who described personally memorable smell experiences in an online questionnaire. Based on the stories we developed 10 categories of smell experience. We explored the implications of the categories for smellenhanced technology design by (a) probing participants to envision technologies that match their smell story and (b) having HCI researchers brainstorm technologies using the categories as design stimuli. We discuss how our findings can benefit research on personal memories, momentary and first time experiences, and wellbeing.