AUSTIN, TX — At SXSW 2018, the first thing I saw and loved was more about what I smelled than anything else.
Inside a dark room lit by a glowing table, Aromation, a concept technology from Panasonic's Game Changer Catapult division, showed me how the home of the future will massage your senses with scents selected for your mood.
While the demonstration revolved around moving two shakers on a table, to show how you feel on a matrix that ranged from Excited to Calm and Relaxed to Tense, the final experience probably won't look like a game. Instead, as Masa Fukata, the director of the Game Changer division told me, Aromation will take cues from the world around you.
In addition to taking cues from the music you're listening to, Aromation also plugs into Google Calendar, to both time its emissions and learn how busy your day is, and how badly you need to relax. At the demo, scents came out of a hexagonal device at the center of a table, but Masa told me that this could be built into any number of appliances, including an air conditioner.
Aromation can also be set up to know that it's in the bedroom or kitchen, and provide matching scents. Time will tell if Panasonic can get this technology to market and succeed, but I already feel like it's something that Amazon could build into its Alexa-enabled speakers.