Innovation That Matters

Robot converts online interactions into real-world scents

Work & Lifestyle

Olly is a “web-connected smelly robot” that converts digital alerts into smell.

Online notifications are usually delivered to computer users as sounds, words or images. However, London-based graduate design lab Mint Foundry have now developed Olly, a “web connected smelly robot” that converts digital alerts into smell. Olly began as a prototype called “the smell of success”, which Mint Foundry described as “a hacked Glade air freshener”. The prototype device could connect to a computer via USB and spray a single shot of scent into a room when someone re-tweeted the latest tweet from @mintfoundry. The team developed this concept so the software could produce smells in response to a range of web interactions, from calender alerts to Twitter activities. Users can dictate the smell produced by filling the removable section at the back of Olly with a fragrance of their choice, from essential oils to fruit or alcohol. Olly comes in customizable casing, and is stackable so users can setup multiple smell alerts. Developers can also add to it, linking other web interactions to scents. Mint Foundry are currently working on ways to produce Olly units at scale before making them available to the public. Olly is another example of the OFF=ON trend explored by our sister site Could it be time to look for other ways to bring online interactions and activity back into the physical world? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel



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