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Opportunities for odor: experiences with smell and implications for technology

conference contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 16:31 authored by Marianna Obrist, Alexandre N Tuch, Kasper Hornbæk
Technologies for capturing and generating smell are emerging, and our ability to engineer such technologies and use them in HCI is rapidly developing. Our understanding of how these technologies match the experiences with smell that people have or want to have is surprisingly limited. We therefore investigated the experience of smell and the emotions that accompany it. We collected stories from 439 participants who described personally memorable smell experiences in an online questionnaire. Based on the stories we developed 10 categories of smell experience. We explored the implications of the categories for smell-enhanced technology design by (a) probing participants to envision technologies that match their smell story and (b) having HCI researchers brainstorm technologies using the categories as design stimuli. We discuss how our findings can benefit research on personal memories, momentary and first time experiences, and wellbeing.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Published version


CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


Association for Computing Machinery

Page range


Event name

CHI 2014 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Event location

Toronto, Canada

Event type


Event date

April 26 - May 01, 2014



Department affiliated with

  • Informatics Publications

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Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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