Miércoles 3 de Mayo de 2006, Ip nº 151

The Scent of a Movie
Two movie theaters in Japan began offering a novel sensory experience to audiences Saturday: smells synchronized to a Hollywood adventure film.

Seven different aromas wafted from beneath the back-row seats during showings of the ''The New World,'' synchronized with the on-screen action.

''This movie depicted nature a lot, so the aromas created the atmosphere of the forest and flowers shown in the movie. It was nice,'' said Asami Osato, who watched the film at Tokyo's Louvre Marunouchi theater.

A floral scent accompanies a love scene, while a mix of peppermint and rosemary is emitted from special machines during a sad portion of the film.

The service is available for only the back 33 of the 470 seats, according to theater official Kenjiro Beppu.

''We sold out all of our 'Aroma Seats' for four showings'' on Saturday, he said, adding that the service will continue through May 5.

Movie theaters will be able to download scent sequences for other films from the Internet from NTT Communications, which offers the service to theaters.

The company began a similar service for homes in Japan last year. Owners of the US$620 (euro500) home version can download different programs to emit smells to accompany a horoscope reading or for aromatherapy.

Owners must keep refilling the machine with fragrant liquids. NTT Communications would not disclose how many machines it has sold.

U.S. startups have developed similar technologies before, although at least one company was forced out of business during the dot-com bust.

  24/04/2006. The Associated Press.