Get a whiff of Olly, an odoriferous Web-connected robot that lets you sniff the sweet smells of the Internet as you receive tweets and Facebook updates.
The Internet is not inherently fragrant, but that's where Olly comes in. You can choose which smell you want Olly to release in relation to a tweet, a Facebook "Like," or a delay in your airplane schedule. To further customize the experience, you could potentially assign specific scents to messages sent by a particular person.
I'm imagining that a tweet from a friend smells like oranges, while an Ashton Kutcher tweet smells like "fail," and a plane delay smells like an upset porcupine. You can't stuff a whole porcupine into Olly's removable smell-holding tray, but you can add a bit of perfume, some essential oil, a piece of fruit, or some other pungent item.
Olly can emanate one smell at a time, but multiple Ollys can be stacked to give you a library of smells to associate with your digital alerts. Smells like teen spirit. Must be time to pick up the kids at school.
Olly sprung from the Foundry research team at design lab Mint Digital. You can't yet buy an Olly, but you can make one of your own with a few parts and a 3D printer. Mint Foundry will be sharing step-by-step instructions for tinkerers to have a go at creating their own customized smell-o-matics.
The company is exploring how to make Olly available at scale for purchase. In the meantime, I'm harboring a sneaking suspicion that CNET smells like Aqua Net.