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Co. To Add Scents to Games, E-Mails

March 3, 2000

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Want to smell burning rubber when playing that racing game? Soon, you might be able to.

Equipment that produces scents to go with computer games, videos and e-mail is scheduled to go on sale to the public by December, U.S. company Digiscents Inc. said Friday.

The company’s ``iSmell″ machine, a device slightly smaller than a telephone, will add a whole new dimension to computer games and other electronic products, Digiscents’ chief executive officer Joel Bellenson said.

``If you’re playing a computer game and exploring a forest or a dungeon, you can smell your environment. You can smell your enemy, you can smell gunfire,″ Bellenson said.

``We’re planning on the mass consumer release of the device by the Christmas season this year,″ he said, adding that a digital scent ``developer’s kit″ for computer games makers was set to hit the market in San Jose, California next week.

The company’s technology turns smells into digital codes that can be stored on laser discs or as computer files, and can even be e-mailed.

``You might be able to e-mail the smell of flowers or chocolate to your wife if you can’t get them delivered on time,″ Bellenson said.

The iSmell device reads a digital scent file, creates a smell from a ``palette″ of 128 chemicals stored in a cartridge, and then wafts into the air with a small fan.

The company is compiling a database of ``digital scent objects,″ which it hopes to sell to Internet companies, computer game makers, video producers and others, Bellenson said.

Digiscents is currently in discussions with companies including Eidos, maker of the popular ``Tomb Raider″ computer game, and with food and beverage companies interested in the company’s advertising potential, he said.

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