Computer: Feature
Olfactory Graphing   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Algorithmic dispersion of synthetic scent particles to reflect categorised quantities.

An olfactory bar chart would be a series of different smells of <edit>varying intensity</edit>. An olfactory pie chart would be a mixture of different smells.

There is a more general need for canine user interface conventions in computer design. Well, when I say "need", ...
-- pertinax, Sep 11 2021

Smelly fire alarm https://www.reuters...idUST29421020080318
Fire alarm using smells [Frankx, Sep 12 2021]

What's a smell of barring obesity?
-- Voice, Sep 11 2021

[Voice] I think that’s the clue to what this idea is *really* about - a look-up dictionary of words that might easily mistakenly replace other words in predictive text. Any apparently garbled message could be passed through this dictionary app to create a list of plausible alternatives based on a spectrum of butterfingered predictive texting
-- hippo, Sep 11 2021

[hippo] - that’s a good idea. Is that what this is?
-- Frankx, Sep 11 2021

I don't think so
-- pocmloc, Sep 11 2021

So this is using smells to represent and compare numerical values? Mixing up sensory inputs sounds fun, I like the idea of a kind of functional synesthesia. + But how? You couldn’t have “Lemon = 10, Cut grass = 11…” - all the smells will blur into a meaningless mixture.

//more need for canine user interface// I first read as “need for more caffeine…”
-- Frankx, Sep 11 2021

Chemically communicating with dogs. Smells like a good idea to me.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 11 2021

Blending smells on a pie graph or a cloud seems to make some sort of sense. I wonder how many dimensions would be appropriate and how you could rationally quantify? Would you have an organic chemistry "decayed rotten diaper / bleach" axis, and a "floral / salty" axis, and another axis or perhaps hue for intensity?
-- RayfordSteele, Sep 12 2021

Scents are not intuitively linked to numbers.
-- Voice, Sep 12 2021

At wine tastings there's a spittoon and frequent sipping of water to prevent the smells all blurring together. Some sort of nasal flush might be required to separate discrete elements, such as those of a bar chart - or it might be enough to prevent lingering particles if everyone shaved their nose hairs before starting. This would not apply to the pie chart, in which the different smells would be simultaneous by design.
-- pertinax, Sep 12 2021

Only a small section of society can map quickly with rigidity, so not really for the general populous.

"Accounting, you are expected to report for smelly mathematics training on Friday at 4pm"
-- wjt, Sep 17 2021

//Scents are not intuitively linked to numbers.// they're not, but they probably could be. I can imagine particularly prominent nodes being laid out on a 2d map, with other smells surrounding them depending on their proximity - perhaps arranged using t-SNE or something similar.

So *discarded fish* and *dead fox* might be relative neighbours, while *postman's aftershave* and *grooming parlour* might appear in some other region of 2d space. As an aside, I think brain neurons often arrange themselves in geographic layouts like these - studies in mouse-whisker-mapped neurons I think showed a crude example of this in practice.

Anyway, assuming such a layout could be generated, you could pick two arbitrary points on the map, and take a journey on the straight-line-path between them. If you specified these points up-front, and associated one with a low value, and the other with a high value, then any smells that happened to appear in-between *should* be recognisable as being mapped to a kind of number-line that exists between these two points. ( Which, I think, is what [RayfordSteele] is suggesting above)

This should also be applicable to people, so if I defined a scale on the Vanilla-Ammonia axis, then you might associate the smell of milk at the low end, while unclean public toilets would be located somewhere much higher up, with magnolia or swimming pool appearing at midway points in-between.

You do have to specify your low/high points in order for this to work, but common leylines and conventions would quickly be established that people could concentrate on. Printers might offer an equivalent CMYK ink-cartridge system where each of C, M, Y and K were some clear and unambiguous paths between pairs of various stand-out smells.
-- zen_tom, Sep 17 2021

Take away the communicating cloud. Maybe TMS bowlers?. easier for baselining as well.
-- wjt, Sep 21 2021

I give up, [wjt]; what's a TMS bowler?
-- pertinax, Oct 09 2021

random, halfbakery