Will Smell-O-Vision Replace Television?

Don't hold your breath, or your nose. But broadband and new gadgets promise to widen the pipeline to your set (and your wallet)

If you watch leather-lunged TV megachef Emeril Lagasse, you've probably heard him lament the limitations of his medium: "Oooh! I can't wait till we get Smell-o-Vision so you can smell this at home!"

Well, bad news, Em. Despite the old Bugs Bunny cartoon (in which a futuristic headline proclaims SMELL-O-VISION REPLACES TELEVISION!), scented TV is still unlikely to be in our parlors 20 years from now. (Emeril, alas, very likely will.) The reason is less technical than economic. Smell can theoretically be digitized, and there are researchers working to do exactly that. But Smell-o-Vision was tried years ago--with varying degrees of...

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