MediaLAB Amsterdam has suggested a scent-based approach to improving postures. The development team have introduced the PosturAroma necklace for women that is supposed to inspire the female wearers to keep their backs straight. In addition to bringing the therapeutic benefit, the accessory can be used to help ladies feel safer in the street by improving their mood and self-esteem.
Comissioned by Cisco, the project leverages the strong connection between scent and emotion. The prototype necklace disperses a nice fragrance when “feels” that the wearer’s back is curving. The scent released by the accessory reminds and inspires the person to straighten the back. The posture contributes to the confident look and makes the walk proud, which reduces the chance of becoming the target of an assault.
The designers of the bulky necklace tested a range of 11 different aromas, including strawberry, lemon grass, cappuccino, neroli, mint, mandarin peel, alcohol, vanilla, apple, mandarin peel and pheromones. They wanted to discover if the participants of the test stage associated the scents with safety and which of the smells related to safety most. After an in-depth research, the developers stated that each person had individual reactions towards various aromas, and that’s why the necklace should have several scents for the wearer to choose from. The design of the piece is also to be improved.
“More research has to be done on the intended safety that the necklace brings. Longer experiments have to be conducted in the user’s natural environment, which means outside and by night. At the moment, it has become clear that scent can positively affect body posture, but not that it can make people feel more safe. More research has to be done on the aesthetic preferences of the user. Also, more has to be found out about scent to see if there is a correlation between positive and negative connotations with a scent and successful conditioning of the user’s behavior,” the project paper reads.