Scratch-and-sniff were stickers or pieces of paper that, when rubbed or scratched, would release the aroma embedded in the paper.

The aroma was held in the paper by microencapsulation technology, meaning that the aroma producing chemicals were stored in tiny little containers or gelatin compartments, no more than a few microns thick. When the paper was scratched, a few of the containers would be ruptured releasing the "sniff". As there were so many micro capsules on the paper, and the fact that the aroma was kept airtight for so long, many scratch-and-sniff stickers could still be used years after they were bought.

The system was used primarily as a marketing tool, with limited success.

Fast forward to the present day. A company called TriSenx are pioneering new "smell" technology on the web.

They have a system where a pattern of smells can be programmed into a web page and then "printed" off on a special device that contains a range of different aromas and flavors. These include, among others, Coffee, Roses and Perfume.

TriSenx's chairman reckons that in time, aroma and flavor will become as commonplace on the internet as audio is today.

The system is currently only available for Windows and retails at a price of $398. At the time of writing, the company has recieved 50 orders. There are no plans for a Macintosh or *nix version yet.

yay, another nodeshell rescue!

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