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September 15 , 2007

Led by the Nose

The future of smell in a virtual world


"I never imagined when I started work on this book that - in the name of reasearch - I would end up reading a textbook entitled Love and Sex with Robots. Probably it was my fault. For some reason, I just didn't see that one coming." To most of us the idea of transmitting scent digitally seems absurd. Yet in this highly entertaining exploration of where technology is taking our ability to reproduce, manipulate and experience scent, Robert Chalmers reveals that developments in digital scent replication technology are moving rapidly, and in some startling directions. Drawing on his long-term interest in the idiosyncrasies of scent and the perfume industry, Chalmers takes a wry look at where this is all leading us. He amalgamates interviews with leading technologists & perfume experts with an overview of the history of scent technology. Add in a wide-ranging store of cultural references and enliven with Chalmers' acute sense of the absurd combined with his relentless ability to pursue an idea to its logical, if unexpected, conclusion, and you end up wih a short-read that will have you laughing out loud, even if you're reading it in a public place.

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