Digital scent idea granted patent

An Indian inventor has been given a US patent for a device that could allow advertisements, movies and music to generate smells.

Sandeep Jaidka told Reuters recently that he'd been granted the patent last November for a small electronic device that could be attached to a television, computer or hi-fi system. He said the apparatus involved digital signals synchronised with music or movie sequences, and could be used to produce scents or weather-linked (hot or cold) sensations. "This (invention) is a beautiful combination of digital-coded signals," he commented.

The patent, Jaidka's second, was secured with help from the Indian government's Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the National Research Development Corporation.

However, Jaidka told reporters that work on a prototype was yet to begin, as he needed 5 - 10 million rupees (£148,600) to build the device. "Basically the concept has been patented. My invention is simple," he explained.

Jaidka first applied for, and was granted, a patent in 1997 for a pollution-control device that would trigger oxygen supplies based on sensors.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation