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Only in Japan: A cannon that shoots smells

Subaru's SpotScents device consists of two air jets precisely aimed at a passenger in a car--presuming you want a waft of "Pleasure Time."

When two scents collide.
Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

CHIBA, Japan--First you had personalized media. Soon, it will be personalized deodorizers.

The SpotScents device, devised by automaker Subaru, consists of two air cannons precisely aimed at a passenger about two feet away in a car. The cannons spritz the passenger with fragrances--there's "Cool Wind" and another one mysteriously called "Pleasure Time." Just the thing you need while driving.

The idea behind SpotScents is that not everyone wants to smell the same fragrance. Some people hate the smell of those little pine trees, after all, while other people hate the smell of dust in the car. Although it has two cannons, the SpotScents thing only blasts one person. The two air streams are supposed to converge on your head--the first picture here shows the pair of streams heading for the collision.

SpotScents at rest. Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

Subaru did not put a date out for release, but a representative said it could come out by next year in Japan. In a four-passenger car, of course, you might need to have four SpotScents setups, if everyone is particular about aromas.

Subaru showed SpotScents off during a special tech exhibit over the weekend at Ceatec, the large Japanese trade show that took place here just outside of Tokyo. For more photos of stuff I found there, "Photos: Day 2 at the Ceatec gadget show in Japan."