Dollars and Scents

Why smell is the next frontier for gadgets

Illustration by Timothy Goodman for TIME

ADS for the 1960 chase film Scent of Mystery promised a revolutionary experience. As moviegoers watched Peter Lorre drive around Spain, wafts of roses and perfume would be pumped out of plastic tubes hidden under each seat. First talkies, now smellies! But the scent system proved glitchy, and the concept flopped. Now, a half-century later, analysts predict that the time for fragrant films may finally be ripe. The concept is part of a new wave of ideas and products that are bringing scent into the digital age.

Our electronic devices can listen, talk and respond to our touch, but getting them...

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