According to the university, the ability to transmit smells has applications in many fields, including tourism, gaming, marketing, medicine, and others. We can think of some of the others, but we guess you can too.
The university said that it's worked with researchers in both computing and chemistry to come up with the concept of the XML Smell language.
It said the initial idea was to print smells on paper using laser and inkjet printers, but the fragrances degraded over a short period of time. And so the boffins claim to have developed a dual pass printing system, using two polymers which degrade by light and by touch, so that the niff only niffs when a document is read.
But the researchers said they quickly realised that smells could be propagated over networks and the Web. And so they have created XML Smell, which they claim can define in universal and standardised way the transmission of smell which allows the transmission of fragrances by email, by SMS to a mobile phone, or via a TV show.
Currently, the boffins are designing a device which will sit close to a TV, a radio, a phone or a PC, and which contains a "smell palette". The components in the palette are realised according to instructions contained in the XML Smell language.
Right now, the boffins are working on miniaturising such a device.
You think it's an early April Fool, right? Go here.
As Fernando Cassia, who kindly translated the piece for the INQ remarks: "We'll soon have to watch out for smelly denial-of-service attacks, with techies saying: 'Sorry honey, I won't be able to make it to dinner tonight, we've had a hacker break-in at work and we're up to here in the sh*t. Literally, the place stinks!". µ