The internet caters to the two main senses that we use most often; sight and sound. Although this makes websites some of the best ways to present information it is not the most powerful. For a website to deliver the most powerful message it must entice the most powerful sense; smell. That’s why we have created the world’s very first scratch and sniff website.
Why we made a scratch and sniff website…
Our endeavour started a few years ago when we were stuck in a rut when some of our websites were under performing. Everything was there from the beautiful graphics and illustrations to the most compelling copy and excellent user experience. That’s when we realised that it was not only our sites underperforming, everybody’s was!
We knew that every single site populating the World Wide Web had heaps more potential than the everyday images and the cleverly placed audio. As people, we do more than see and hear. Therefore, websites had to do more than present visuals and audio.
But why choose smell?
There was no way that we could make a website play to all five of the human senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell). Technology just isn’t up to it- for now. However, with 3D technology and virtual reality touching a website seems well within reach. But we didn’t want to use touch. Everyone is going down that route already and some are even close to accomplishing their ideas.
So touch was out of the question. What about taste? Well, we’re sure that will come along when you can finally touch a website, surely you could give it a taste too? Although, we cannot think of anything more bizarre than licking a screen or even worst putting some weird 3D printed object in your mouth.
That’s when we finally settled on smell. Can you think of anything more wonderful than clicking on a page for a perfume and being able to smell it before you buy it? Or browsing a website for holidays in the Caribbean and being able to smell the sea breeze? It would be magical. Not to mention many studies have proven that scent is the most powerful sense.
But why is smell so powerful and what made our endeavour to create a scratch and sniff website worthwhile?
Well, science. When your body detects a smell the neurones in your nose send an impulse to the part of your brain that plays a major role in controlling your mood, memory, behaviour and emotions. Hence, why smell is such a strong sense- it is closely linked to your emotions. Which everyone knows can be very overwhelming and powerful forces.
I suppose your thinking “that’s all well and good but did you actually do it?”
The answer is yes we did. After years of research, studying and testing we have finally been able to harness scent into a digital experience.
When designing and developing our scratch and sniff website we transformed the small electrical current running across your monitor into a trigger. As soon the page starts to load on your monitor a few electrical pulses are triggered and release what you and I perceive as a scent.