Smell, Taste, and Temperature Interfaces

J Brooks, P Lopes, J Amores, Emanuela Maggioni, H Matsukura, Marianna Obrist, Peiris R Lalintha, N Ranasinghe
in CHI '21: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference paper (text)


Everyday life hinges on smell, taste, and temperature-based experiences, from eating to detecting potential hazards (e.g., smell of rotten food, microbial threats, and non-microbial threats such as from hazardous gases) to responding to thermal behavioral changes. These experiences are formative as visceral, vital signals of information, and contribute directly to our safety, well-being, and enjoyment. Despite this, contemporary technology mostly stimulates vision, audition, and - more recently - touch, unfortunately leaving out the senses of smell taste and temperature. In the last decade, smell, taste, and temperature interfaces have gained a renewed attention in the field of Human Computer Interaction, fueled by the growth of virtual reality and wearable devices. As these modalities are further explored, it is imperative to discuss underlying cultural contexts of these experiences, how researchers can robustly stimulate and sense these modalities, and in what contexts such multisensory technologies are meaningful. This workshop addresses these topics and seeks to provoke critical discussions around chemo- and thermo-sensory HCI.