Finally, an invention John Waters can get behind. When the harbinger of filth brought the odiferous experience to screenings of Polyester
, he took the scratch-and-sniff route -- including scents like glue and feces -- now a team of researchers at the University of California in San Diego are expanding on the smell-what-you-see
concept, albeit in a much more high-tech fashion. In collaboration with the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the team has developed a method for generating odors
that could pack the appropriate hardware into a device "small enough to fit on the back of your TV." Basically, scents are produced by an aqueous solution, like ammonia, which is heated by a thin metal wire, and eventually expelled, as an odorous gas, from a small hole in its silicone elastomer housing -- and, bam! You've got Smell-O-Vision. The team has tested its method using perfumes by Jennifer Lopez and Elizabeth Taylor, but have yet to create a working prototype. For the sake of innocent noses everywhere, let's hope Mr. Waters doesn't get a whiff of this.