The Perfume-Spraying Robot That Tells You How Popular You Are Online

Illustration for article titled The Perfume-Spraying Robot That Tells You How Popular You Are Online

With our various electronic devices always pinging and beeping to notify us of various developments in the world, be it a "liked" Facebook status or a breaking news alert, you wouldn't think we'd need MORE ways to gauge how well-received we were online. And yet, apparently we do. That's why Benjamin Redford invented a robot named Olly, who monitors millions of messages being passed around social networks and records when its owner is involved. As if that wasn't enough, Olly then emits a waft of scent to "reward" the owner for scoring an online mention. Boy, that could really stink up the joint fast if some tweet of yours starts spreading like wildfire.

How is this different from simply being notified that you've been retweeted, friended, etc? Redford says, "We wanted to reward people in the physical world for their digital and social interactions." He added, "We are gradually spending more and more time on screen and it's good to have some other form of sensory stimulus rather than just video and audio." So now you can stand in your living room and suddenly start smelling something subtle, which will give you that hollow validation that comes from being talked to online rather than having to go online via whatever device you always have in your hand anyway in order to get that validation? How convenient.

You can get plans for Olly and make it yourself, if you have the technical know-how, but you should be able to buy one in late 2012. However you get your hands on Olly, it will be worth it, because how else will you smell like success—if success equals online interactions, anyway—without him? As for that smell of success, you can customize it to be whatever scent you like. A nice perfume might be the logical choice, but one chef has apparently directed Olly to spurt out the "essence of tortilla," whenever his restaurants are mentioned online. Hmm, is there a place to buy the essence of sweat and unwashed, food-stained clothes?


Perfume-puffing robot sniffs out social media mentions [BBC]

Image via Ollyfactory

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Unless Olly can emit the smell of burning hair, it's probably falling short of giving many people the proper "real world" reward for their digital interactions.