Universities in Tampere develop digital scent technology

Submitted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:45

The University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology are developing new technology for scent digitisation.

The Digital Scents (DIGITS) research project develops a system prototype which measures scents by an electric nose (eNose) and transforms them into digits. The scents can then be reproduced by using a carefully controlled self-learning scent synthesiser. In the future, synthesised scents can be perceived by people and even other machines around the world with the help of a digital communications network. The research lays the ground for developing systems that are able to transmit olfactory perceptions and experiences in real time everywhere in the world.

The project represents a new kind of human-technology interface and interface development with significant potential effects. Introducing scents in the predominantly audio-visual communications culture will diversify the use of communication networks.

The implementation is based on interdisciplinary research covering chemical sensing, microfluidics, machine learning, psychology, interactive technology, and company collaboration. The work will cover the research, development, integration of sensor and actuator technology, and human testing of the system.

The Academy of Finland is funding the project as a part of the fourth theme in its research, development and innovation programme ICT 2023 called Advanced microsystems: from smart components to cyber-physical systems.

Professor Veikko Surakka from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tampere is the responsible director of the project. He and his research group will also carry out the experimental research on the perception of the scents produced.

Professor Jukka Lekkala from the Department of Automation Science and Engineering at Tampere University of Technology is in charge of developing the technologies needed in scent analysis.

Professor Pasi Kallio and his research team at the Department of Automation Science and Engineering at Tampere University of Technology develops the self-learning scent synthesiser technologies.

The international cooperation partner in the research is Professor Kalle Levon (New York University, School of Engineering) and his research group. The Finnish companies involved include Environics Ltd. and Kenzen Ltd.

The total budget of the project is about EUR 1,3 million of which the Academy of Finland will fund EUR 900,000. The project, which started in January 2016, will take two years.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Veikko Surakka, veikko.surakka@uta.fi, 040 557 3265
Professor Jukka Lekkala, jukka.lekkala@uta.fi, 040 849 0931
Professor Pasi Kallio, pasi.kallio@uta.fi, 0500 525 546