pcomp final: researching smell dispensers

i went to kmart to research smell dispensers. they generally fell into these categories:

  • heat disperses the scent of oil or wax
  • spritzer dispenses scented spray
  • a fan disperses the smell of scented goo that sits in a permeable pouch
kmart's expansive scent section
kmart’s expansive scent section

i went with a motion-sensing spritzing dispenser and a dispersal mechanism that works with a fan. these two give us more control over when we start and stop dispersing smells; with a candle or another heat-based mechanism, dispersal is slow and hard to contain.

scent dispenser innards
motion-sensing spritzer
scent dispensed by fan
scent dispensed by fan

when i got back to the floor, i took apart the motion-sensing spritzer. the construction is surprisingly simple and elegant: a motion sensor or button activates a battery-powered DC motor, which turns a series of gears, which pull an arm into contact with the scented stuff and ~*spritz*~

scent dispenser mechanism

read background on this project + dhruv and viniyata’s user testing

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