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Quarter Past Lemon

A watch that smells time!
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

I am an absent-minded ninny when I get involved in a project that tickles my fancy. There's no telling when I'll come out of my creative coma long enough to eat a proper meal or get the sleep I need. This is because I cannot look at clocks when fully engrossed in something I find fun.
It gets so bad that I'll leave food cooking and won't find it till hours later, still simmering into a miserable lump on the range. By then, it's too late to look at the time.
I need a Mad-Professor's watch, a watch that gets me where I least expect it: the nose-buds.
The watch itself would have a face, each number being replaced by a small icon of the smell it represents. For instance, three o'clock's a lemon and four is a rose.
All day long the smells of one hour fade into the odor of the next, and I am kept blissfully aware of the time.
And for those of us still trying to write a play and cook noodles at the same time, there's an odiferous alarm of, say, burnt hair, to snap you to and get you moving!
So, whaddya say? Meet me at a quarter of Chocolate!
k_sra, May 17 2003

Smell messaging http://www.ananova....u=3Dnews.technology
Deliver smells to mobile phones. [hippo, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Time-sensitive 3D shading http://www.halfbake...tive_203D_20shading
Another idea to help people not lose track of time when sitting at the computer. [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Scent Alarm Clock http://www.technove...News.asp?NewsNum=69
Starts emiting scent 30 minutes prior to the alarm. The scent they have as "unreadable" is "lemony mint". [jutta, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Odors insufficient to rouse subjects from sleep http://www.scienced...05/040518075747.htm
"No-one responded to peppermint during sleep." [jutta, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       Half past oregano.
10 minutes 'til lilac.
New car o'clock.
phoenix, May 17 2003
  

       Delivery system definitely exists. Getting it all to fit on your wrist without having to hire porters may have to bake a bit longer.
jurist, May 17 2003
  

       Obligatory 4:20 Post
thumbwax, May 17 2003
  

       [jurist] is right, a realistic prototype is far in the making. Chemically produced smell not withstanding the reservoirs to hold the odors would be colostomous at best. At any rate, simplification to smells only at the quarters, halves, and on-the-hours would be small enough to fit a hip pack, which would not greatly mar the general appearance of most mad-professors.
k_sra, May 17 2003
  

       This would be easy to fit into a watch. Imagine - slightly oversized wristwatch comprising a simple circular face with a 1/12th segment removed. Connected to the back of watch is a small aroma-pack built like a trivial pursuit pie with 12 slices, each reservoir filled with a separate aroma-producing chemical, and a semi-permeable cover holding it in. Every hour the empty segment of the face rests over 1 of the reservoirs, allowing the aroma to escape (perhaps aided by a tiny built in fan to aid circulation). The aroma packs can be removed and replaced when the aromas begin to fade.   

       In time you would come to recognise the precise mixture of aromas as two segments are partially uncovered, allowing you to make a fair guess at the exact time. If you built the skill sufficiently it could be your party trick to amaze restless children and boring in-laws.
sambwiches, May 18 2003
  

       Wonderful idea. Crossiant.
oatcake, May 18 2003
  

       AromaJet is working on digital scent generation.
bristolz, May 18 2003
  

       [sambwiches], that's a clever solution.
k_sra, May 18 2003
  

       ...and no more "o'clock", either. Now we would say things like "rose o'nose".
pluterday, May 18 2003
  

       I'll set my alarm to bacon in the morning.   

       Croissant for the idea, but fishbone for the mental images produced by the word "colostomous". Which to give, which to give? Croissant, methinks.
friendlyfire, May 19 2003
  

       <aside> Apparantly one of the most recognisable smells there is (particularly for Americans) is that of Crayola Crayons. </aside>
hippo, May 19 2003
  

       Interesting, I heard somewhere that the most popular smell in America was banana.
k_sra, May 19 2003
  

       From the smell that pervades most shops I go into, I thought it was vanilla.
DrCurry, May 19 2003
  

       coffee in the morning and chamomile at bedtime for me.
Freefall, May 19 2003
  

       Great idea, but what about olfactory interference? If two users are anywhere near each other, their odours would mingle. With different odours, this might just confuse, but suppose they used the same odour for two different hours?
OnionBread, May 19 2003
  

       [Onionbread], I don't think the two conflicting smells will bear much influence on each other. If you are close to a different smell-zone watch, you can always bring your watch close to your nose for a quick smell. If it is someone you spend a lot of time with and your smells are intermingling you might want to just say, "Hey, we smell really good together!" as a way of telling her/him how much you like them. And if you are having a great time with this person you won't mind losing track of time anyways.
In the future, perhaps there will be standard smell-zones just as we have time zones now. Grenwich Mean Time may become something else and every watch will smell the same hour.
k_sra, May 19 2003
  

       its 9:59 here!
po, May 19 2003
  

       01:14, and telling the time with the obsolete numerical system ends...
now.
  

       It's a quarter past sweaty nightclub, and I'm off to bed.
friendlyfire, May 19 2003
  

       7 hours until big exam, and all I can smell is sweat... Terror sweat *Dr. Hibbert chuckle*
sambwiches, May 19 2003
  

       This is an idea whose time came half a croissant ago.   

       However, as a mad professor myself, I wonder if something so subtle as a smell could cut through my frenetic reveries and warn me that I need to eat, sleep, or heck, even use the bathroom (I can really hold it when I'm losing track of time).   

       The smell of burning food on the stove, or burning midnight oil, or heaven forbid, burning bladder (ew) might do the trick, but these are not the pleasant smells about which we've been rhapsodizing. Indeed it is the pleasant smells for which I have heaped my own croissant upon the others gathered here.   

       I say make sambwiches' prototype for fun and profit, and for snapping out trancelike concentration, I'll continue to rely on what I've always relied: the sharp words of a loved one.   

       "Hurry up honey cakes, it's already a quarter till sugar bun! At this rate, it'll be half-past punkin' pie before we get there!"
dijontoothpaste, May 20 2003
  

       It is a delightful idea that could also apply to the date on the watch. It smells better as you get closer to friday. (Rebunned) +
sartep, Jun 18 2003
  

       A taste watch might be more doable. This would be a disc held between cheek and gum which as it slowly rotated through the day would open successive compartments, each on the hour. Each compartment would let out the flavor of the hour, which would gradually drift into the mouth over about 10 minutes until exhausted. At the end of the day the watch would be spent, and a new one would be needed for the next day (helps sell more watches). They would come in monthlong rolls like a roll of quarters.   

       This watch would work via a plastic spring. There would be no batteries - I am wary of this after [UB} noted the thousands who die each year from chewing 9v batteries.
bungston, Jun 18 2003
  

       The only thing that keeps me from fully enjoying this idea, is that the stamina of the olfactory sense is tiny- that is, if you have a scent that's on for an entire hour, it will go to waste for about 59 minutes, because you grow accustomed to it.. it's like walking into a somewhat foul-smelling environment, or putting on perfume/cologne. However, [sambwiches] the idea of kicking it in very temporarily as an 'alarm' would definitely be the way to go, in my mind... but, while you're at it, put a tiny little spike on the back face of it and have it knick you on the wrist every hour... that'll snap you out of it!
xercyn, Jun 19 2003
  

       <obligatory Robert Duvall post>
DrBob, Jun 19 2003
  

       Maybe different smells for AM and PM. Any time after 10:00 PM could have a soothing bedtime smell. Even better, these could be customized. A child's bedside clock could awaken them with the smell of waffles (or any other morning smell) and at night, maybe the ocean? For students trying to keep awake studying at night, the bracing mountain air. It could even be seasonal! During the humdrum of winter, you can simply draw your watch to your face and breathe in the aroma of honeysuckle. ++good, one of the best I've read on the 'bakery for a while.
igirl, Jun 19 2003
  

       Apologies for non-contributory churn but "colostomous" is my new favourite word. Thank you, [k_sra].
my face your, Jul 11 2003
  

       *phew* smells like Monday.
RayfordSteele, Oct 17 2003
  

       [+] good one. If it was in common use nobody'd need to ask the time either.
FlyingToaster, Apr 19 2012
  

       A scratch and sniff watch...the hour hand scratches the face.
Ling, Apr 20 2012
  

       I love the smell of eight o'clock in the morning.
farble, Dec 07 2012
  

       Brilliant. I would like a wall clock version [+]
piluso, Dec 07 2012
  
      
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