A Japanese Aroma Design Project
My product »anemoi« is basically a scent diffusor that you can control with your smartphone, your tablet or personal computer, what makes it a part of the “Internet of things”-universe. The name derives from the greek mythology as it was the naming for the gods of the winds and their personifications. At the same time the whole name »anemoi« could be written and spelled in native Japanese as あねもい , what was very important for me regarding the Japanese target group.
During my research I found that it’s possible to mix a great variety of different scents with only a few basic scents. As a result the device can be filled up with 10 different aroma oil capsules, which are mixed together to create various specific scents, based on the settings of the user. Once the capsules are consumed they can be exchanged individually. The durable material and function of the capsules allows them to be reused as well. The owner brings the empty capsules to designated places, where he can get a refund per capsule or a discount on new capsules purchases. This sets up a whole recycling service around the product, which makes it more convenient and ecological to use.
The material and shape for the diffusor box itself is very neutral and unobtrusive, since I want it to blend in with most locations. The functioning parts are contained within the device and the capsules, as well as the battery and the other electronics are hidden underneath a clean and simple shaped case, which is de-attachable in order to reach the capsules and the battery. Additionally you can exchange the case with another colored case or one of a different material – you don’t have to buy a new device if the color or material doesn’t suit its surrounding any longer. This is both ecologically beneficial as well as user friendly. The diffusor box can be placed on a flat surface or attached on a wall.
I also made a mock-up for a potential app-interface, that allows to control the device via Bluetooth or Wifi. The app should allow you to control the scents based on different predefined setups, such as feelings, seasons (which are very important in Japan) or activities. Also it has a timer option to let you sleep while being surrounded by a nice aroma of vanilla or to wake you up with the smell of fresh brewed coffee. Of course the app gives you all necessary information about the scents, their mixture, the filling of each individual capsule, etc. I also thought about but let go of the option to let the users create their own scent, since it may lead to undesirable results.
Prof. Toru Ito
Chiba University, Japan
(Image 5+6 are modified online samples)