What is OWidgets?

Our sense of smell is a powerful tool, and one that is unharnessed in our everyday interactions with technology. OWidgets aims to facilitate the development of olfactory applications by enabling people to design olfactory experiences. Our approach focuses on designing the perceptual effects, and allows the creation of these experiences based on the properties of your scents and delivery system.

The Power of Smell


The sense of smell is proven to be strongly tied with memories. A single sniff can remind you of your first partner, or allow you to relive a past experience.


Scents also have an effect on our emotions. Some scents can make us feel happier and relaxed, whereas others can trigger negative emotions such as disgust.


We associate most scents with the source that produces them, however we can also learn other associations. In our research we have proven that scents can be tied to information in order to open up a new channel for communication.

The Team

Emanuela Maggioni

Emanuela is an experimental psychologist with a passion for olfaction. Her expertise in the human olfactory system and olfactory perception provide the scientific foundation for the development of OWidgets.

Robert Cobden

Robert is a software developer and provides an engineering mindset to the problem of scent delivery and olfactory experience replication. He would like to see scent delivery used to communicate information in everyday life.

Marianna Obrist

Marianna is an expert in multisensory experience design, her skills provide the link between human scent perception and our interactions with computers. She aims to promote the design of more meaningful experiences to push the boundaries of what is possible in human-computer interaction.

Applications for Smell

Virtual Reality

We have explored creating immersive virtual realities using the sense of smell, taking advantages of the close links between scents and memories.


Visual notifications can be very distracting. We studied the use of scents for chat notifications, conveying information about who sent the message and how urgent it is.


There are many more possible applications for scents, if you have any ideas which harness the sense of smell get in touch! We're keen to work alongside partners to develop potential applications for Olfactory Widgets.

CES 2018


We had a great time sharing our work with many curious faces at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show! We presented a demo of our toolkit, creating custom olfactory experiences using our own scent delivery device. You can check out a video about OWidgets here.