Sunday 20 November 2011

The Chocolate Chip - World's First Electronic Fragrance Semiconductor

Wake up and smell the chocolate ....

Here is Girton Labs latest development of Programmable Electronic Fragrance, PEF designed by Lyndsay Williams. These are a development of  our SenseBooks which were cookery books with images and associated scents for herbs and spices, tested by Girton Labs in 2008, research financed by EEDA.

 Girton Labs design philosophy  is that engineering is a combination of science and art, and our latest creation is this elegant chocolate button.  We decided to use synthetic chocolate fragrance for the first test - who doesn't like the smell of chocolate?

Chocolate also has therapeutic  properties as described here in Nature. PEF is based on a Cypress Programmable System on a Chip. PEF  is part of the  ThrillChip system, an arousal system for the senses that uses touch actuators such as vibration,  heat, cold and nerve arousal, and now adding electronic fragrance , PSOC and PowerPSOC allows MOSFET actuators, 20 bit analogue to digital converter, (used for measuring biometric signals such as galvanic skin response and controlling dose ), programmable gain op amps, accelerometer interface,  power management and microcontroller on one semiconductor. This PEF custom semiconductor will be available for licensing once prototype development is finished.
The PEF chip has actuators that can mix multiple synthetic fragrances in the cylindrical chamber as above. A 3D printed Lab on Chip is used as part of the well or reservoir design. A switchable matrix will allow up to 16 fragrances to be mixed in the chamber. If just 8 fragrances are used, this should theoretically provide a maximum combination of 40,320  fragrances, but needs testing.

An an example,  if there are 3 fragrance pots, A, B, and C there are the following 7 possible combinations.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. A and B
  5. A and C
  6. B  and C
  7. A and B and C
The time on for each fragrance will allow more combinations.

  Fragrance technology has been tried in the past for many decades but as liquid  has suffered problems from lingering odours and leaks.  These problems are solved  by creating  solid scents, the technology is  in the public domain. The new technology allows very fast switching of scents on and off using semiconductors. This allows smell is be added to mobile phones, books, games  etc.
  Sensors such as accelerometers detect movement in the person and allowed a controlled fragrance output.
PEF is low cost and the cartridges are replaceable. The system is as thin as the battery, in this current prototype  we use an Lithium model helicopter battery.
More details of PEF available under NDA.

A example of  a chocolate fragrance  is Angel perfume  by Thierry Mugler - but this can never be switched off once applied to the body.

Angel perfume Thierry Mugler

PSOC PEF semiconductor

3D printed Lab On Chip
PSOC, image from Cypress Semiconductors

PSOC prototype controller from Cypress,  actual chip is approx 8 x 8 mm

(c) Lyndsay Williams