Every day, everywhere you go, you’re going to encounter smells. Sometimes they’re pleasant, sometimes, unpleasant, and sometimes toxic. Best stay away from the last one.
Our sense of smell, as you know, is one of our five “main” senses (there are more, actually.) But, as you also know, unlike our sense of sight and sound, smell cannot be messaged or transported instantaneously across the planet.
Think about it. You can share pictures and music, but you can’t share smells. Sure, you can take a picture of the wonderful taco you’re eating for lunch, but no one can confirm that it smells—or tastes—good. (Maybe that’s why cooking shows work so well.)
But the point I’m making is this: have you noticed how little technology has been developed considering—and using—smells?
Okay, to be fair, maybe it’s impossible, or in the very least, very hard and very expensive to even begin making technology that can detect—and transmit—smells. But even in the realms of science fiction (or at least the sci-fi I read), it’s never about smells. No one bothers to invent devices that can transport and generate smells, or anything remotely like that.
But think about the possibilities!
If, in the future, machines could “smell”, and transmit—or identify—smells, then, in theory, we could having robots that can cook properly. (Okay, taste is probably more important, but it does sound far more difficult—given mucus, digestion and all. And where does the food a robot tastes go?)
Not that I’m suggesting we build robot chefs—but if machines could smell, it would probably be a big leap in the realm of robot cooking. In theory, using robots, chain restaurants could literally get all of their franchises to have food that tasted exactly the same—somewhat of a boon in brand making.
But the question is, given a choice between food made by a human chef and a robot one, which would you eat? (And yes, when I say food, I don’t mean a salad. I mean something actually cooked.)