360i, the agency where i work, has a rapid turnaround hardware/software challenge. On behalf of one of our clients, we want to give away 100 small devices to influencers at SXSW. These things will be more or less the size of a Square credit card scanner (or a bit bigger) and plug into the headphone jack of a phone.
At some interval determined by a very simple app, the device will release a little puff of an essential oil scent. The shell contains the circuitry, oil reservoir, battery. Apparently some power can be gotten from the phone itself, so the battery may only be needed to release the scent, not to sense the trigger from the phone. http://arstechnica.com/
apple/2011/01/project-hijack- uses-iphone-audio-jack-to- make-cheap-sensors/
I’ve played with a few ways of doing this. The easiest seems to be essentially copying the way a Glade Wisp works – it wicks a drop of oil to a piezo disc, which gets a 150khz blast and atomizes the oil. I changed the scented oil in a Wisp to our scented oil and it worked fine.
If Glade still made Wisps, we could really just take what they’ve got, add a signal detector so that output from the headphone jack turns it on, and be done. But they discontinued it, and they’re relatively expensive to buy on eBay.
But I think we could replicate that with radio shack-ish parts.
Another thought was to use an inkjet printer cartridge, IF we could find something with a small enough reservoir to fit in the small case we need.
inker&page=3 The inkjet printhead integrated circuits are actually pretty cheap (at least on alibaba), but they need to be attached to something to hold the oil, and require some fairly significant voltage to work.
And maybe you can think of an even easier way.
Regardless, we don’t have much time to figure this out – about a month total.
We’ve got a small amount of money ($1000) for someone to design a working prototype that could hopefully get bigger funding from our client to make a bunch of these. We can do the 3D printing for cases.
If you think you can do this, and especially if you’ve had successful related experience, please get in touch!
Email me at email@example.com with the subject line “ITP Scent” (or something similar so i can find it easily).