Future clothes use engineered scents to change mood and enhance memory

The concept of a wardrobe dubbed Smart Second Skin apparel could radically transform your daily sensory environment into a tool for fighting Alzheimer’s disease or simply changing moods. These futuristic clothes smell in a way that may forever change your opinion about fashion. Wired to emit specially designed aromatherapy fragrances that can alternatively evoke memories, enhance alertness or increase calmness.


What it is

The clothing imagined by Tillotson would incorporate tiny tubes throughout the lining of a garment. The wearer could set a timer so that the shirt or dress would produce stimulating scents such as a smelling salt in lieu of morning and late afternoon coffee, and then release calming, floral fragrances in the evening for decompression during the commute home.

Even more reactive, the clothing could connect to biometric sensors that track the wearer′s heart rate or stress levels. The clothing could then relax the user during stressful situations, or record ambient scents for later replication during happier moments. And like insects, who communicate and perceive the world primarily through their sense of smell, clothing that both emits and receives scents could allow wearers to talk, find or remember each other purely through the smell of their wardrobe.

On the more medical side, scented clothes could help elderly minds stay sharp. Smell provokes memory more directly than any other sense, and the deterioration of the sense of smell during the aging process speeds along dementia in the elderly. By linking scent sensors and fragrance emission, clothing could replicate smells associated with loved ones, cherished activities or places. Pumping up those smells could trigger an elderly wearer’s memory and allow them to more easily remember how to get home or the name of an acquaintance.


Why it’s Cool

Smell is nowadays a natural sentence. Perfume is used on your skin and sometimes to convince people by adding an apple-pie-smell in your ‘for sale’- house or in shops to impact customers. But we can use smell at many other ways to improve the quality of life. ″Based on the sense of smell embedded this in the clothing, I’m trying to redesign the future through smell,″ said the researcher, Tillotson. ″Mood-enhancing effects can have an impact of behavior, learning; it’s a hot wire to the brain. You could use scent to train the nerves and brain to help you wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night, keep you alert in the office.″

Right now, the technology remains purely conceptual, but with Tillotson quickly working out the fundamentals of dynamic scent clothing, the future promises to be a whole lot smellier.


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