The Scent Palette is a simple and flexible scent delivery system. It is designed with minimal controls and the most basic of computer interface.
How the scent is delivered:
Scent cartridges are used which contain a gel based scent compound. The scent is slowly released by exposing it to the air. A higher volume of scent can be released by "scrubbing" the surface with a stream of air. Each scent chamber contains one cartridge that has air injected into it on demand that "scrubs" the surface of the cartridge, rapidly releasing the scent.The scent exits the chamber though a rubber one way valve. As the scent is released, it can be dispersed faster with the use of the four fans inside the unit. There is an air valve for each chamber controlling air pressure provided by an external compressed air supply.
The Scent Palette is controlled by a computer through a USB interface and driver. The Palette is "dumb" and control is accomplished with simple on/off commands, there is no feedback to the computer. Each scent chamber can be turned on individually or in combination. The fans are grouped in pairs so they can supply half or full power on demand. The USB connection is accomplished using an off-the-shelf interface module from USBmicro that is connected to a custom driver that ties to the valves and fans. The software driver required is for a "Human Interface Device" (HID) that is standard in most operating systems used for mice, joysticks, and other simple devices connected through USB. A minimal test program is provided for testing of the unit and as an example of the code required for control. USBmicro has an online programming guide that gives examples in Visual Basic, C, C++, and other common programming languages, as well as details for use under Windows, Linux, and OSX. A DLL is provided for Windows. The test program provided is simply a modified version of one of the online VB examples.
Normal operating scenarios:
- For subtle scent effects. Turn on fans. Turn on scent for a period of time. Leave fans on to help dissipate scent.
- For a sudden burst of scent. Turn on scent first and let the charge build for a time. Turn on fans to eject the large scent charge. Turn scent and fans off.
- To dissipate the scent quicker. Use one of above methods, but leave fans on after turning off scent.
- To vary the rate of dispensing and dissipation, use half or all fans.
- To vary the amount of scent, modulate the scent on and off.
2 or more scents can be dispensed at one time i.e. Coffee and Chocolate or Vanilla for a mocha effect, or Apple, Cinnamon, and Turkey for a Thanksgiving effect.
Some scents have a much greater "fugitive effect" and will be much stronger than others, so they will need to be supplied for less time than others. Others will dissipate quicker and may need to be left on after others are turned off.