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Olly can make tweets smell sweet

Internet-connected smell robot emanates odors to go along with tweets, Facebook updates, and other alerts. Fortunately, you can choose your own aromas.

Olly Web-connected smell robot
This is a dramatization of what happens when you have an Olly. Mint Digital

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.

The Foundry team experimented with various media for dispersing smells on demand. One early prototype was a Pringles tube with a fan in the top and and an air freshener in the bottom. Mint Digital