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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

Odorophonics  
  A system capable of reproducing selected scents capable of fooling the human nervous system.  

As far as I know, this is the first version of what today's science fiction fans refer to as the "holodeck" - a space in which a virtual (but very realistic) reality can be imposed.

The nursery was silent. It was empty as a jungle glade at hot high noon. The walls were blank and two dimensional. Now, as George and Lydia Hadley stood in the center of the room, the walls began to purr and recede into crystalline distance, it seemed, and presently an African veldt appeared, in three dimensions, on all sides, in color reproduced to the final pebble and bit of straw. The ceiling above them became a deep sky with a hot yellow sun.

George Hadley felt the perspiration start on his brow.

“Let’s get out of this sun,” he said. “This is a little too real. But I don’t see anything wrong.”

“Wait a moment, you’ll see,” said his wife.

Now the hidden odorophonics were beginning to blow a wind of odor at the two people in the middle of the baked veldtland. The hot straw smell of lion grass, the cool green smell of the hidden water hole, the great rusty smell of animals, the smell of dust like a red paprika in the hot air.

From The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Doubleday in 1951
Additional resources -

The word "odorophonic" itself reminds me of other product names from the first part of the twentieth century, which combined Greek or Latin root words. At that time, many of the people who used the term (or were sold the device named) had some training in Greek or Latin, and were aware of the meaning of the device from the name alone.

This practice is in marked contrast to company and product names of the late twentieth century, in which the naming of the product is driven by the need to produce a copyrightable name. Company names like Vividence and Aquilent are easily copyrighted (because they are invented). Names like "Pentium" and "Itanium" for computer chips were put into use by Intel because strings of numbers like 386 and 486 are not copyrightable.

The idea of being able to reproduce a wide variety of odors (or scents) with a machine is making a come-back; see the commentary for odalarm a scent-producing alarm clock from The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert. This item is taken from "The Veldt", the first story in the collection.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Illustrated Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
  Tech news articles related to The Illustrated Man
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

Odorophonics-related news articles:
  - Kaori Web: Odorophonics Comes To A PC Near You

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