This is my entry into the latest Viridian design contest. Normally, I can't think of anything cool enough to warrant an entry, but this one inspired me. I'll describe the dog first, and the rationale afterwards.

The Aromaker

Ad for boys

Hey boys! Remember that really really gross smell you wanted to save so you could share it with your friends? Well, now you can! The Aromaker has a sense of smell unparalleled in the natural world, and will analyze the smell, record it, and generate it on demand whenever you ask. Want to stink up your sister's room? Get some dirty socks, give them to the Aromaker, and have it sneak in and release the odor! Think of the possibilities! Recording a smell is as easy as telling your Aromaker to "Record Skunk!" (or Dirty Socks or Mud) and the playback command is "Play Skunk!"

Ad for girls

Hey girls! Don't you hate it when you have to deal with those smelly boys? Well, now you won't have to! The Aromaker can make any room smell pleasant. Give it a scent that you like, and it can record it and later replicate that scent whenever you want, flooding the room with sweet perfume, wiping out the smell of your brother. Never deal with a smelly room ever again with your Aromaker!

Ad for parents

While your kids may enjoy the Aromaker for its possibilities of fun, you can rest easy while they're playing with it. The Aromaker is programmed to detect several dangerous gases, such as sarin gas or chlorine gas, and automatically goes into protection mode, generating enough oxygen for your child to breathe, no matter what the suggestion, as well as leading the child to safety. So while your kids are playing pranks on each other with their new toy, they're protected from some extreme dangers. In an uncertain world filled with terrorists who have demonstrated their willingness to use any tool, won't you feel safer if your child is protected by an Aromaker?

Design thoughts

When starting this contest, I asked myself what was one of the main functions we associate with dogs. And the answer, obviously, was smell. Tying that into the idea that this was a toy, meant for younger kids, took me straight to the idea of recording smells and playing them back later. There were all sorts of possible uses I could think of if I were a kid, as was hopefully illustrated by the different scenarios available for girls and boys. Later on, I thought of the added safety feature possibility of the toxic gasses as an added bonus to appeal to parents.

I do not know enough about biochemistry to figure out the technical feasibility of such a beast. Smell research has come a long way, and synthesizing odor is definitely possible in the laboratory now. I assume that poison gas detectors are being worked on as well. Oxygen generation should be pretty straightforward as well; if nothing else, the Aromaker could have an oxygen tank internally for this purpose. Package it all together into the friendly form factor of a dog, and I think there's a definite market possibility here.

I won't inflict my poor attempts at drawing a dog upon you. Oh, and apologies for the name. It was either that or "BioDog", and at least this has some correlation with the dog's function.

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