Augmenting the senses: Smell

This one is a bit weirder. Augmenting sight, easy. Sound, pretty simple. Smell?

Imagine if you could smell the past. Wherever you are reading this post, smell what’s around you. Then imagine that in a hundred years time there could be a technology that allowed people to visit where you are now and smell exactly what you’re smelling. It’s pretty cool right?

Of course, museums such as Jorvik have been experimenting with enticing (or revolting) the senses for many years. It’s not new, but it is when you look at areas where a smell can’t just be pumped through the aircon.

New research by Stuart Eve, furthering his project Dead Men’s Eyes, has lead him to create Dead Man’s Nose. Whereby the closer you get to certain archaeological places in the landscape, certain smells are triggered. In the case of the Dead Man’s Nose project, this mainly revolved around a Bronze Age settlement site. The closer you got to roundhouses, the stronger the smell of cooking meat. A short video created by Stuart Eve can be found on the Heritage Jam website, where Stuart was highly commended in the online individual category.

It is not outside the realms of possibility that augmenting smell could be used within heritage applications in the near future. Hopefully, however, we won’t be wandering round with boxes hanging round our necks when we do (Sorry Stuart!).


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