Smell Colors With A Synesthesia Mask

Synesthesia is a mix-up of sensory perception where stimulation of one sense leads to a stimulation of a second sense. This is the condition where Wednesdays can be blue, the best part of your favorite song can be orange, and six can be up and to the right of seventy-three. While you can’t teach yourself synesthesia – it’s something you’re born with – [Zachary] decided to emulate color to smell synesthesia with his most recent electronics project.

For his synesthesia mask, [Zach] is turning varying amounts of red, green, and blue found with a color sensor into scents. He’s doing this with an off-the-shelf color sensor, an Intel Edison, and a few servos and test tubes filled with essential oils. The color sensor is mounted on a ring, allowing [Zach] to pick which colors he wants to smell, and the scent helmet contains a small electronics box fitted with fans to blow the scent into his face.

There’s more than one type of synesthesia, and if you’re looking for something a little more painful, you can make objects feel loud with a tiny webcam that converts pixels into pulses of a small vibration motor.

14 thoughts on “Smell Colors With A Synesthesia Mask

    1. I don’t think the issue would be the corrugations as such but there doesn’t appear to be any forced air-flow which means the essential oils are reliant on diffusion to get out. It means that there’s going to be quite a lag (between it opening and the wearer smelling it) and it’ll hang around for a while in the static air of the tubes & “mixing chamber”.

  1. I’m having a hard time seeing the practical value to this, or even why someone would try it. I realize that not everything has to have a practical value, but most of the time people have a good reason to put this much effort into something.

    1. Well, smell is very powerful. Combining a more blacked out version of this gimp mask with artificial vaginal scents could be one reason?

      Apparently, you can buy those essential oils off the shelf too. Not sure if there is a male version or not.

      “Lenssen created the perfume-that’s-not-a-perfume to address the lack of smell-based sex aids on the market.”

      Add an Arduino in there and also make it bluetooth capable because why not? Could get interesting.

  2. Turns out you might be able to induce some variations of syntesthesia.

    over on make, talking about the work of Moran Cerf:

    “Cerf also made a device that blocks your vision with opaque goggles. When you inhale (as measured by an air-flow sensor in your nose) the goggles clear up for a second. He made some poor student wear this thing for 10 days, and at the end, the kid’s ocular lobe activated upon smells rather than just sights.”

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