Kodak announces Aromatography!

1 April 2010

Throughout the history of photography, the essential experience was limited to capturing light. Kodak, however, is set to change all of that. Today, they announce aromatography, a revolutionary way of capturing both light and aromatic scents from the world around you.

Kodak's aromaphotography combines sight and smell - both in digital photography and print

Imagine seeing an image of a field of wildflowers and the experiencing all the delicate and complex aromas that accompany the visual experience. It’s no longer just a dream, thanks to recent breakthroughs in Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense Imaging.

While similar ideas have been experimented with in the past using chemicals applied to photographic paper, Kodak’s latest release is the first of its kind which works for digital photography. Although all new Kodak cameras will save a scent raster as part of their .KAO (Kodak Aroma-Optic) raw file format, a special digital display is required for rendering the aroma to your desktop.

Kodak allows digital smell rendering via novel specialised display technology

For those with traditional CRT of TFT displays one can still print the camera’s KAO files on special aromatic paper. Using one of the new  Kodak LAOscribe printers the smells are reproduced by varying the intensity of laser light applied to every pixel’s print location.

You can watch a short interview with one of the research scientists, Dr Harold Museau

It is expected that competing technology will eventually be announced by Canon and Nikon, but development has thus far been held back due to the inherent subjective cultural differences between their traditional Japanese and European user markets, and a lack in standardization protocols.