CHI 2021 Workshop: Smell, Taste, and Temperature Interfaces


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Thursday — Saturday
May 6, 2021 —
May 8, 2021

The “Smell, Taste, and Temperature Interfaces” workshop addresses the burgeoning subfield of chemo- and thermo-sensory interfaces (smell, taste, and temperature) as well as their cultural contexts, usage, and resulting experiences. This three-day workshop will offer an interdisciplinary forum of discussion for academics and practitioners interested in leveraging these sensations.

Co-organized by Fluid Interfaces alum and current research affiliate Judith Amores.



The Smell, Taste, and Temperature workshop covers chemo- and thermo-sensory interfaces. Above are three examples of such devices: (a) The Olfactory Assist Mask is a system that makes trace chemical gases interpretable to humans by substituting it with smellable odors. (b) Ranasinghe et al. explored augmenting flavor by adding digital gustation to utensils like chopsticks. (c) The ThermalBracelet is a device which provides fast-switching thermal feedback to the wrist using groups of four thermoelectric element.

Suggested Topics/Areas

The topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design and use of multi-sensory technologies.
  • Technologies pushing forward smell, taste, and thermal experiences.
  • Chemo- and thermo-sensory augmentation.
  • Cultural aspects and contexts of multi-sensory interactions in everyday life and history, which influence and shape both the technologies being developed and their societal adoption.
  • Techniques & recommendations for recording and stimulating chemo- and thermo-sensations.

We aim to additionally highlight and discuss open challenges in the field, which include, but are not limited to,

  • Power consumption: affects all chemo- and thermo-sensory devices, but especially thermo-.
  • Chemicals: affects all chemo-sensory devices (smell, taste, chemesthetic), often non-reducible, recordings and replay of experiences, precision, inter- and intra-modality effects (e.g. suppression effects).
  • Non-technical: complexity of dimensions, precision, cultural adoption, sharing data across HCI researchers, open sourcing of devices, simultaneously ongoing basic scientific research.



Bar graphs showing publication trends for smell-, taste-, temperature-, and mulsemedia related publications published by the ACM or IEEE since the 1980s. All four subjects have seen steady rises since the 2000s.

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