OWidgets: a toolkit to enable smell-based experience design

Maggioni, Emanuela, Cobden, Robert and Obrist, Marianna (2019) OWidgets: a toolkit to enable smell-based experience design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 130. pp. 248-260. ISSN 1071-5819

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Interactive technologies are transforming the ways in which people experience, interact and share information. Advances in technology have made it possible to generate real and virtual environments with breath-taking graphics and high-fidelity audio. However, without stimulating the other senses such as touch and smell, and even taste in some cases, such experiences feel hollow and fictitious; they lack realism. One of the main stumbling blocks for progress towards creating truly compelling multisensory experiences is the lack of appropriate tools and guidance for designing beyond audio-visual applications. Here we focus particularly on the sense of smell and how smell-based design can be enabled to create novel user experiences. We present a design toolkit for smell (i.e., OWidgets). The toolkit consists of a graphical user interface and the underlying software framework. The framework uses two main components: a Mapper and Scheduler facilitating the device-independent replication of olfactory experiences. We discuss how our toolkit reduces the complexity of designing with smell and enables a creative exploration based on specific design features. We conclude by reflecting on future directions to extend the toolkit and integrate it into the wider audio-visual ecosystem.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Smell, Olfactory Experiences, Design Toolkit for Smell, Smell-based Application Design, Software Framework for Smell, Smell-based Interaction Design
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Creative Technology
Depositing User: Lucy Arnold
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2019 11:43
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2020 08:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84626

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
SenseX - Sensory Experiences for Interactive TechnologiesG1589EUROPEAN UNIONH2020-ERC-2014-STG-638605
OWidgets - Design of a new non-existing layer of information delivery through smellG2057EUROPEAN UNION737576