30 June 2013

A ‘Camera’ That Records Smells

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Ever notice how vivid and forgotten memories can be conjured up when you smell something?

This is because our sense of smell is thought to have a “direct link to our emotional memory”.

Designer Amy Radcliffe believes that smell plays an important role in how we “consume and record the world”. However, we have not been able to systematically capture and store it.

Her new project, the ‘Madeleine’, is a kind of ‘camera’ that captures smells instead of images. Radcliffe thinks that an “analog, amateur-friendly system of odor capture and synthesis” could profoundly change the way “we regard the use and effect of smells in our daily lives”.

To capture a smell, the funnel is placed over the object to be recorded, and a small pump then sucks the air over an odor trap that absorbs the particles that composes the smell.

Users can then send in their exposed odor traps to be developed at a lab. A small capsule and bronze disk is then sent back, allowing memories to be relived at any time.

Radcliffe is currently working with fragrance labs to further develop her concept.

Click to watch the video to see how the ‘Madeleine’ works:

[via Amy Radcliffe and Guardian]