Scent Hugs

Scent Hugs is a two-day project, exploring the use of the sense of smell. The sense of smell is intimately involved when we hug a loved one; what if we could extend our hugs across space and time? The project’s problem statement was “how might we bridge the time difference between loved ones through the sense of smell?”

The interaction involves two devices:
A “hug sender” (shaped like a pillow)
A “hug receiver”, which records each “scent hug” on a taperoll.

The “scent hug” is in the form of a dab; the scent is of the loved one sending the hug. The taperoll can be worn around the wrist; the scent can then released with the wrist-rubbing gesture.

The key learning from this project is that scent is very personal & subjective: one person’s fragrance is another person’s stink. The scent can intrude on other people around you; there is thus a need for a controlled release.

The other learning is that it is very hard to mimic the fidelity of scent (in this case, the scent of a loved one) through a prototype fragrance.