Facebook smells like bacon, Twitter like roses

Summary:A new gadget, 'Olly', translates social network notifications in to different scents.

The interaction team over at Mint Digital have now announced their brainchild product, Olly, is available through a Kickstarter campaign.

Olly's slogan claims it to be 'the web connected smelly robot'. The device, a small USB-connected object, is programmed to emit a scent as a cue for a web notifications such as re-tweets, Facebook messages or new email announcements.

The gadget's tagline is:

(Feeds/Pings/Tweets/Checkins) go in. Smell comes out.

Olly consists of a 12v fan, Arduino chip, an outer shell and a small removable compartment for holding various scents. The removable compartment in the back allows owners to fill it with their preferred smell -- anything from perfume to oils.

The creators of Olly see the product as a result of exploration within sensory branding and increasing online interactivity:

We became interested in smells because they’re crucial to generating memories and emotions. They’re also good at notifying you of important things, like whether you might like the taste of something or if you left the gas on.

We wanted to see how this could affect our online experiences, especially on social platforms such as Twitter. That was the spark that led to the creation of Olly.

Olly is also stackable, which means you are able to own more than one and assign different Olly boxes to different social network notifications. A user could connect one to Twitter, another to Facebook, and another to their calendar if they wished. Additional features are planned for Olly if the project gains enough financial backing.

The project is trying to gain funding through Kickstarter, and currently has 63 backers. Out of a $35,000 goal, $4,146 has so far been pledged to the web-connected object.

Olly has 28 days to go in order to obtain enough financial support to enter the consumer market.

Probably more for novelty factor and perhaps the odd prank, the USB object does hold some comedic value. It reminded me of the Wake N Bacon alarm clock, but is no doubt a safer option for those who enjoy sensory branding.

Photo credit: Olly Factory

Related:

Topics: Collaboration, Social Enterprise

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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