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eScent  - Scent Whisper Prototypes

The first eScent prototypes were published in the proceedings for the IET MEMS & Actuators Conference 20106,

IET Seminar on MEMS Sensors and Actuators, 2006 p. 97 – 104

This included the 'Scent Whisper' technology project, an AHRC funded collaboration with Professor Dr Andreas Manz (Institute of Analytical Sciences). They were the first wearable, wireless scent demonstrators and presented at the IET Mems & Sensors seminar and World Transhumanism Association  (Humanity+)  Art Gallery exhibition 'Visions of Dystopia and Utopia'


Scent Whisper is a jewellery set integrated with wireless sensor networks that offer social and therapeutic value in a desirable context. The jewellery - a beetle and spider broach - incorporates sensors and microfluidics to initiate fragrance delivery, depending on the sensor response. A wireless humidity sensor triggers the appropriate scent output in these proof-of-concept devices. The sensors can be used to detect stress physiologically and release beneficial chemicals in controlled ways responding to personal needs.


The technology created for this study was inspired by chemical warfare and the innovative defence mechanism in insects. In particular, the defence mechanism of bombardier beetles squirts predators with a high-pressure jet of hot, toxic liquid in a rapid-fire action, as documented by the late Thomas Eisner (Cornell University).

  The African Bombardier beetle responding to an attack (photo reproduced with permission from the late Thomas Eisner) - inspired Scent Whisper project

Arts & Humanities Research Board Innovation Award


Project summary



This wearable technology project invents a new method of aroma delivery. The eScent device is a small microprocessor controlled unit capable of dispensing minute amounts of scent as an atomised mist, providing a non-invasive, localised delivery of the fragrance. It can be disposable, re-fillable or a cartridge based variable mix device with a sensor triggered by the body’s behaviour.  This system will be a new vehicle for inter-action design in fashion and textiles.



Project Director              Dr Jenny Tillotson

Analytical Chemists       Professor Andres Manz  []

                                         Dr Gareth Jenkins


Jewellery Designers      Don Banxendale

Industrial Designer        Ben Hughes



Inspiration                      Defence mechanism in insects (Bombardier beetle ring)  





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