Smell and taste are the most primitive senses, and are intimately tied to our experiences. Yet, they are elusive and fleeting. We thought about how we could store, recall and share these senses digitally. Could we analyze the chemical composition of a food item, and store that data in digital format? If we had that information, what kinds of experiences could we create?

Consider for a minute that food we bought in the supermarket is merely a programmable vessel waiting to be coded with the perfect flavor. People take photos to capture a moment in time, so that their memory can live forever. Research shows that smell is directly linked to memory, and scents can trigger forgotten experiences from the past. How about a picture that could store our memories in a more meaningful way? In the real world, people interact with each other and share experiences over food. Could we have these types of experiences, even when we are far away? Experiences are ephemeral, but they might not have to be.


Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao*, Ermal Dreshaj*, Judith Amores*, Sang-won Leigh*, Xavier Benavides*, Pattie Maes, Ken Perlin and Hiroshi Ishii. clayodor: Retrieving Scents through the Manipulation of Malleable Material. TEI 2015 Work-in-progress, 2015.