Monday, March 10, 2008

I Can Smell Your Fear

Recently eaten: turkey burger with red pepper relish
Recent annoyance: if it's so bad for me, why does it taste so good?

What's next? A fire alarm that slaps you in the face, pours a bucket of cold water on you, and gives you a wet willy?

Horseradish fire alarm
A new type of fire alarm in Japan has been developed using the pungent smell of horseradish.

The device is drawing attention as a new way to warn people with hearing disabilities.

Medical equipment manufacturers have developed a technology to extract components of the strong odor of horseradish, seal them inside a can and spray them out.

Shiga University of Medical Science Hospital cooperated with the makers and carried out experiments to see if the horseradish smell can wake up people from a deep sleep.

Fourteen people, including those with hearing disabilities, took part in the experiments.

In the experiment, 13 out of the 14 subjects woke up in less than two minutes after the smell reached their noses.

The people with hearing disabilities were particularly quick to wake up, with one person emerging from sleep in just 10 seconds.

Assistant professor Makoto Imai at Shiga University of Medical Science says the experiment was useful to ensure that the new device allows those with hearing disabilities to escape during an emergency.

The makers intend to put the fire alarm on the market in two years.

No comments: