Monday, July 18, 2011 Covers UCSD Odor-Generating TV Research

A new story looks at the emerging trend of "immersive cinema." In the future, it won't be enough for images to pop out into the theater with you a la Avatar, movie and TV watchers will be able to smell, taste and feel what's on screen.

The article features our very own Sungho Jin, professor in the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and NanoEngineering, and his research on odor-generating devices for television, movies and even cell phones.
Caption: Professor Sungho Jin and grad students Calvin Gardner (seated, right of Sungho) and Hyunsu Kim (left of Sungho) measure the electrical properties of heater wire actuators while detecting the odor released.

Here's what had to say about Jin's research:

University of California at San Diego researcher Sungho Jin takes a more high-tech approach to scent-driven storytelling with a home entertainment prototype that could one day overpower the fake buttery smell of microwave popcorn whipped up by pajama-clad movie watchers.

In partnership with Samsung’s home entertainment division, Jin and his team devised an aroma-release prototype that relies on electrical filaments to vaporize up to 10,000 scented fluids contained in tiny rubber tubes. In a phone interview, Jin, who spent two years developing the matrix-based control technology, offered an example of how his device might work.

“If you’ve got a scene coming up where the character eats pizza, maybe five seconds earlier — because it takes time for the odor to travel to the viewer –the computer program essentially says, ‘OK, hit it!’ and that particular odor will be released,” Jin said.

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