Soldiers Trained To Obey Odors With Scent Delivery Device
This is almost too weird (a phrase you will read only rarely on this site). USC researchers have devised a personal device that could be worn by soldiers that would receive wireless orders to deliver particular odors. In training, soldiers would be made to associate specific actions with particular odors. From the patent application:
An exemplary base for the scent delivery system according to the present invention ... is in the form of a necklace and includes cartridge slots... Scent cartridges are fitted into the ... slots... Preferably the base includes a communication board... the base includes a battery for powering the various electrical components and the scent cartridges... the base can be manufactured or molded of various lightweight materials...
(From Scent Delivery Service patent application [pdf])
It is pointed out in the application that scents are processed first in the emotional brain - orders given by scent might then be processed and obeyed immediately, without ratiocination.
This scent delivery device would also be used extensively in virtual training environments.
In his 1972 novel Hellstrom's Hive, Frank Herbert wrote about a group of people like the Amish or the Shakers who voluntarily withdrew from the rest of society in the nineteenth century. This group, however, modeled their new society on insect hives - each member of the group has been modified in utero or with specific hormones to have the characteristics needed for their jobs.
Just as with insects, scent is extremely important to all members of society. Normalcy and calm within the "hive" can be ascertained by group members simply by smelling the air around them. For example, when there is discord and danger in the hive, fearful members give off enough scent that everyone else soon knows what is happening. Here's an excerpt:
From the Hive Manual. Chemical releasers that can evoke a predetermined response from the individual of any animal species must be very numerous and may be infinite witin the refined nuances of variation. The so-called rational mind of consciousness in the human animal presents no insurmountable obstacle to such a releasing process, but may be considered only as a threshold to be overcome. And once consciousness has been sufficiently depressed, the releaser is freed to do its work. Here, in this area once considered the exclusive domain of instinct, we of the Hive are sure to develop our greatest unifying forces.
I can't resist tossing in links to some of my other scent-related favorites, like Frank Herber's Odalarm - the scent-based alarm clock and Kaori Web - Ray Bradbury's Odorophonics comes to a PC near you; both of these are real devices. Read more about soldiers who obey odors.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/15/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...'
Animatronic Robotic Baby Exposed
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'
Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.'
Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!'
China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'
Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'
Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'
China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'
Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.
Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'
'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'
France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'
Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories