AFTER a century of trying, we could be on the brink of smelly vision.
Of course, some ladies will say they have had to endure smelly vision for years because their husbands just collapse in an armchair in front of the TV and add to the ambience in a Jim Royle special kind of way.
I mean real smelly-vision that can be used in cinemas, television sets and even mobile phones.
As we speak, scientists in America and Japan are perfecting new and ingenious ways of matching smells with sights and sounds.
Actually, as we speak they are probably in bed, but they will be hard at it as soon as they wake up.
The first attempt is reputed to have happened in 1906 when an enterprising young man placed cotton wool that had been soaked in rose oil in front of an electric fan so that the fragrance wafted into a silent cinema that was showing a Rose Parade. It didn’t catch on.
Over the years, theatre owners tried various other methods without success.
In 1959 AromaRama looked like it had made the breakthrough when they applied their technique to a travelogue.
The World Telegram Sun proclaimed: “You’ve got to breathe it to believe it – scented movies are here to stay!”
They were wrong, even though the aptly-named Scent Of Mystery in 1960 was the first feature film to try a similar technique which used 30 different smells. Smell-O-Rama and Scentovision never caught on.
Now it is hoped that Smell-o-Vision being developed in California and Japan will attain the whiff of success.
They are working on a compact device, small enough to be built into a mobile phone, that could release 10,000 scents.
A few years from now, every home will have a full wall 3D high definition television with smells built in.
Nigella Lawson’s recipes will take on a new dimension. Children will go mad while watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and demanding Galaxy bars.
Advertisers as diverse as Hovis and Chanel will have new ways to promote their products.
But there will be a downside. Watching the baked beans scene in Blazing Saddles, for instance.
“By heck, Bert, but I don’t think they need to make it that realistic. And I thought I had the smell button turned off. I have got it turned off! Bert?”
“Sorry, love. I’ll only be a minute.”