Created by Aisen Caro Chacin, the Scent Rhythm watch is a wrist-mounted timepiece that emits unique aromas at different times of the day, allowing you to not just tell the passage of time, but to smell it.
Chacin is a hardware designer at The New School. Her watch doesn’t give you a precise time, but rather a general “feel” of time, thanks to the release of perfume vials mapped to six-hour periods of the day. And the fragrances that the Sense Rhythm releases aren’t just randomly plucked from the olfactory tapestries around us. According to Chacin, the Scent Rhythm is an attempt to build a wearable device that hacks into our sense of time, called chronoception, which is influenced by the interaction of our cerebral cortexes, cerebellums, and basal ganglia. As such, the smells the Scent Rhythm emits at different times of day have been specifically picked to amplify our own circadian rhythms, which help govern our sleep and waking cycles.
In the mornings, the Sense Rhythm releases the smell of espresso and caffeine to perk us up. When you go to work, the Scent Rhythm emits the fragrances of the library: paperback books, and tarnished silver. In the evenings, the Scent Rhythm helps you kick back, like Sherlock Holmes, with whiskey and tobacco; as you go to bed, chamomile helps lull you to sleep.
The Scent Rhythm is a one-off project, but if you have the skills, you can actually build one for yourself using schematics available on Chacin’s site.
It’s part of her Sensory Pathways series, a project that aims to experiment with sensory substitution. The series also includes a spoon that triggers synesthesia through the tongue and a pair of headphones that give you the echolocation abilities of a bat. You can read her project’s thesis here.
Forget Google Glass, Chacin’s making the wearable devices I want.