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January 8, 2001

Internet users will soon be able to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the world wide web thanks to a new computer gadget.

The gizmo plugs directly into a home computer and is equipped with more than 100 liquid scents that can be mixed to produce almost any smell.

After downloading information the iSmell tower emits powerful aromas depending upon the nature of the website.

Soon users will be treated to the whiff of designer perfumes, freshly brewed coffee and other nasal treats as they browse the internet.

And with the iSmell device being software compatible gamers will be hit with the smell of burning rubber as they play the latest driving game. The pioneering device is being made by Merseyside company Quest International, Bromborough, in partnership with California-based DigiScent.

A spokeswoman for Quest, who also have offices in Kent, said the invention would complete the sensory experience for internet users and games players.

He said: "We were approached by Digiscent in America to supply the scents for the iSmell tower.

"It is an exciting move and will mean computer users surfing the net and playing games will have every sense affected.

"It is possible to produce everything from the latest designer perfume to the smell of oil and burning rubber."

The 20-inch-high black fin-shaped tower plugs into the back of an ordinary PC and is expected to retail at around oe150 with software sold separately.

Bosses at DigiScent in America hope to launch the product on both sides of the Atlantic later this year.

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