In the world of modern audio visuals, Walt Disney World is continually a stand out for the way they incorporate tech better into their performances. Known for their animatronics and very frequent performances, Disney is utilizing every aspect of modern AV, and continually push the envelope with what’s possible.

Several of their shows incorporate olfactory designs, while others are centered on direct interaction between animatronics, human cast members and the audience.

Retailers have been using this scent technology to sway shoppers’ consumer habits for a while, but scent design is just beginning to become more prevalent in experimental theater. As Disney has proven, this can really enhance the reality of a performance.

In his interview with BlackBook, Olfactory Designer David Bernstein says, “There is something embarrassingly intimate about smell… it allows the external to penetrate our most private associations.”

For example, Disney wants you to smell freshly-baked cookies every time you walk down Main Street USA in their parks, which instantly transports visitors back to childhood.

All of this is dependent upon the idea that humans are still central to the use of technology.

What’s the point of taking the time to integrate audio-visual and olfactory features if there is no one there to appreciate it?

We’re not sure if the future of theater, television or film means we’ll have scents incorporated with every show, but we do know that the performances where scents are present can transport us to another time and place.