Aerospace engineer and art fellow Zachary Howard recently designed a synesthesia mask that gives users the opportunity to smell different colors. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon whereby one sense is perceived by additional senses. While some people are born with this ability, now there is a device that allows anyone to experience the phenomenon.
Howard's device mimics the effects of synesthesia by blending the senses of scent and color. The synesthesia mask features a finger sensor that detects color pigments in the environment. When a color is detected, the device will automatically release a corresponding scent. For instance, the color red emits the smell of grapefruit, while blue will conjure up the smell of lavender. The effect is that users can process sensory information in new ways and ultimately experience the world in a new light.