The Viridian Design Movement

Viridian Note 00406: Viridian Aromatizer

Design Contest

Key concepts
design contests, aromatizer, interactive scent device, applications, demographics and markets, Paul Groepler
Attention Conservation Notice
It's another in our long series of Viridian Design Contests.

Links: The place to find earlier Viridian Design contests. The so-called "smell cannon." May well be an April Fools' joke. We Viridians don't even care! The Air Head group seeks products that help clean air. Useful electrical power from the almighty stench of bacterial sewage.

It's time for a new Viridian Design contest, brought to us by Paul Groepler, serial entrepreneur and Chief Technical Officer of "Headspace Technologies, Inc.," in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Groepler is currently developing a computer and cellphone peripheral that emits smells. The device can be connected to a PC via USB or via wireless protocol, for instance Bluetooth.

The precise specs of his patented technology are of no relevance to us Viridians. Suffice to say that this aroma-spreading gizmo can range from the scale and weight of, say, a stack of two aspirins. up to about the size of a CD player. It can therefore be plugged into computers, laptops, cellphones, PDAs, car cigarette lighters, etc etc.

Its purpose is spritz gaseous substances. Not just aromas, scents and perfumes, but also visible smoke, pepper spray, ozone, fine particles of soot; just about any gaseous material. The amount dispersed can range from a few micrograms to a few grams, over time.

The device can emit its aromas on command: quickly, slowly, intermittently, or steadily.

Mr. Groepler is looking for inventive applications and niche products for his infant technology. "Smell- o-vision" has already been suggested. Smell-o-vision is a dead medium, however, and the addition of smell to computer games seems corny and too limited. He's searching for something a bit more, well, Viridian.

Given our long-term interest in an atmosphere tainted with emissions, this project is a natural for us.


Write up your suggested application for the Aromatizer. Try to make it brief and clear. (If you can't be clear, at least be funny.) Send your text to the Viridian Pope-Emperor at I will collate these entries and mail them out to the list.

This contest is similar in spirit to the "Viridian Neologue Contest." It's not about giving shape and form to the Aromatizer. It's about concepts for use and exploitation.

The contest ends May 11, 2004.

The contest judge will be Paul Groepler. His decisions are final. Furthermore, he may well put one or more of these notions into production.


"Paul F. Groepler brings over twenty-two years of professional experience in business and technology, having worked for such companies as Motorola, Sun Microsystems, Daimler-Benz, Dell and IBM. Mr. Groepler has founded or participated in the founding of eight successful technology ventures such as Sun Microsystems Gmbh, Technology Works, CableHealthCare, Leapfrog Wireless and Aeon Technology B.V..

"In addition to his technology background, Mr. Groepler was a private equity, high technology fund manager for LB Swiss (Zurich) for 8 successful years. Mr. Groepler performed research and design consulting work for varied organizations ranging from the United Nations to the Max Planck Institute, and has applied for 12 patents. He was selected for special study by the National Science Foundation, and has a B.S. in Computing Science with an Electrical Engineering option from the Texas A&M. He pursued an MS Degree in Computer Engineering from Stanford University."

And now the prize. The Prize for this Viridian Contest is the very apt and attractive:

HOMELAND ESCAPE HOOD by Approved Gas Masks, Dotcom, Inc!


Imagine yourself escaping the tainted air of your own Homeland in this lightweight, WMD-resistant Tyvek hood and respirator!

"The Homeland consists of an outer hood with integral NIOSH-approved half-mask and NP1000 filters. The NP1000 Filter is NIOSH-tested against radionuclides. In addition, the manufacturer has independently-tested the NP1000 filter against a wide range of chemicals, including simulated nerve agents. The hood features an extra wide, clear visor and an integral antifogging mask which provides the wearer with an excellent view.

"Sealed and packaged for long term storage in a metalized reusable pouch, the Homeland Hood is an ideal emergency escape mask & is suitable for 'evacuation use.

"Tychem material is inexpensive, lightweight & provides an excellent barrier against chemical hazards, widely used for domestic preparedness & chemical protection. One size fits nearly all adults. These combination NBC canisters provide protection against toxic agents, chem-bio hazards, gases, vapors & aerosols. Independently evaluated & proven effective against certain levels of war gases, terrorist agents such as nerve gas, blood agents, irritants, choking agents & tear gas. Satisfies CDC recommendations for respiratory protection against particulate bio-hazards. P100 HEPA efficiency, 99.97% effective against aerosols, fumes, mists, radon daughters, radionuclides & dusts. NIOSH approved for use against organic vapors, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, methylamine, high efficiency (hepa) against particulates. Standard NATO 40mm thread. 15 year shelf life, sealed for long term storage."

If you win this contest, this handsome conversation piece and its possibly lifesaving canisters will be shipped to you no matter where you live!

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