I don’t know about you guys but I don’t really “stop to smell the roses” but I never thought I would be able to smell it from m laptop! Try getting keywords and SEO for that!

Wait, what now?

No I haven’t just come back from the pub! Basically Google has come up with a new feature called ‘NoseBETA’ which is a new feature which Google claims to allows your computer’s screen and speaker to manipulate molecules in such a way to replicate common smells. Try it. When you click on the “start smelling“ icon you hear a buzzing noise which is supposedly your speaker manipulating the molecules near your screen along with the photos emitted by your screen. At first I thought this was a fantastic idea and that I should start investing and buying shares in fragrance companies immediately! However what about us other guys? Surely this new dynamic would change the whole Google ranking game and how would you improve your Google rankings with this new dynamic? To put it frankly, I don’t know.

The possibilities!

I mean just think about this for a second. Imagine your local supermarket and you are doing your grocery shopping online, having the ability to smell the freshly baked bread and deserts right from your living room and what sort of selling power that would have! I knew a lot of internet shopaholics can’t resist compulsive buying but this would take it to a new level. Whether you are selling new cars, stuffed toys, fragrance products, foods or flowers; having the ability to have a sense other than sight and hearing would do wonders for online retail. This would make things exciting yet so scary for some SEO-junkies because you now have to get a smell high in Google rankings.

I think the people that would have the most fun are website design agencies! This opens a whole new walk way to website design possibilities which would be absolutely essential if you wish to have a competitive edge over your rivals. Also don’t even get me started on the advertising potential though video production! You are advertising a new recipe of food; you’ve shown how nice it looks – now you can deliver the final blow with an alluring aroma. So what’s next, taste? I sure hope so!

Hang on, wait a minute?!

I am sure it’s not me that thinks there is something fishy about this? I couldn’t find a fishy smell on Google NoseBETA but I am pretty sure that if I could it would be something on the lines of that smell you smell when you’ve just been had – if there ever was such a thing! Now being a biomedical science student myself and having done my fair share of A-level physics I was a bit sceptic of this new feature. You see, smell (or olfaction) is a chemical sense detected by sensory cells called chemoreceptors. When a smell triggers the chemoreceptors, they pass on electrical impulses to the brain. The brain then interprets patterns in electrical activity as specific odours and olfactory sensation becomes perception. Different molecules have different chemoreceptors and different interactions with them so have different outcomes of electrical impulses therefore different perceptions on the brain resulting in different smells. So when you can’t smell anything on Google NoseBETA, it’s not because your nose isn’t working or because your speakers aren’t loud enough, it is because it not real. Yes, it’s a fake! I couldn’t really smell anything so I clicked on the “help” option and saw one of the reasons were “It is April Fool’s Day”. Google’s new NoseBETA has been a viral pranking rampage on its users – a pretty good one I might add, seemed like a lot of work went into it too!

The REAL possibilities!

Let’s not be too hasty in disregarding this completely! The internet olfactory sense is developing fast and is real – to an extent anyways! To get the smell some companies have developed something like a USB stick that you insert into your computer with pre loaded smells onto it which can be triggered and combined to create new smells, once it runs out, you buy a new one – almost like an ink cartridge. The act of manipulating molecules using a computer screen and a speaker is a bit far-fetched but the act of “digital smelling” is not as a sensor pre-loaded with the smells can be used to recognise smells by matching them to its database. Doctors could use this to diagnose pneumonia and other conditions that have distinctive smells.

So if you have been sitting there all day smelling your screen, it’s alright, I think we all got fooled by this one. So if you are sitting at work seeing people sniff their screens, let that put a smile on your face.