NTT commercializes aroma-emitting digital signage system

Published on: 2015-02-05

Only in Japan... At least, that's what CrunchGear says about this system for now:

They tested it for nearly a year now but today Japan’s telecommunications giant NTT announces their aroma-emitting digital signage system is finally available [JP] for advertising and promotion companies in and outside Nippon.

A limited test run of the so-called Kaoru Saineeji (aroma signage) system in a few selected places in Tokyo was finished successfully. NTT uses a proprietary digital signage technolgy as the basis for the new system to produce video and sound.

A web service dubbed Kaori Tsuushin (aroma transmission) is supposed to attract potential buyers by a nasal stimulus: Kaori Tsuushin will emit fragrances in correspondence with the sound and video displayed via the digital signage system.

The result wished for is obvious: Improve sales by improving the marketing of the product. A cosmetics maker that used a test machine in one of Tokyo’s busiest underground train stations last year supposedly reported a 100% growth in terms of awareness in comparison to conventional signs.

NTT charges a base fee of $1,400 for a basic fragrance-emitting system (including software).

Our take:

While sight and sound are the senses that everybody is used to using the most, smell is actually more powerful in its ability to formulate new memories, force the recollection of old ones, and, of course, it's really had to ignore (whereas people are pretty good at tuning out visuals, and are getting much better at tuning out audio now as well). However, it still seems weird that NTT would bother commercializing something like this system, as it would seem to have a somewhat limited appeal at this point. Also, while"100% growth in terms of awareness" seems pretty noteworthy, there's no mention of whether the awareness was positive.  I could get everybody to notice my sign if it reeks of sulfur or garbage, but I don't think it would do much to impart a positive image on whatever I was trying to sell.

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