Enter A World Of Crazy Sensual Mix-Ups With A DIY Synesthesia Mask

Synesthesia, aka the mixing of the senses, is a super power to be feared. But while many synesthetes have boring talents – imagining numbers as colors, for example – this DIY hack lets you turn color into scents, thereby unlocking the rainbow of potential fruit flavors.

Created by Zachary Howard, the system works by reading colors on various surfaces and then responding with a certain smell. A fan wafts the smell over the user’s face and you can set up smells for various colors. From the Instructable:

You can think of the Synesthesia Mask as a smell pixel. Analogous to the way that pixels combine varying amounts of red, green, and blue to make different colors, the mask dispenses proportional amounts of a “red”, “green”, and “blue” scent to match the color you are touching. In practice a fan from one end of the scent manifold blows air over the test tubes containing our “red”, “green”, and “blue” smells. Each servo angles its test tube cover directing air down into the test tube where it picks up the scent of the essential oil inside. The “red”, “green”, and “blue” smells mix together and are then blown by the fan on the other end of the manifold into your mask. The amount of each scent that gets blown into the mask is mapped to the red, green, and blue color value being read by the color sensor on your hand.

The system uses an Intel Edison board and tiny servos to squirt scent into your face. A little hand sensor allows you to read colors on various surfaces and a built-in camera turns each pixel color into a scent. You could, for example, set red to roses and blue to violets and then swipe a subway map for a big explosion of flowery scents.

It’s a fun and easy project and could turn you into a mutant, hell-bent on the destruction of mere mortals and dedicated to the eradication of Professor X and his X-Men. Fun weekend project either way.