Tynan Purdy, Upasana B., Freja Zhang

1. Scenti-ment Shopping

A personalised shopping experience like no other, where guests browse by smell, express their feelings and receive customised real-time-manufactured products in this Al-enabled empathetic store that listens.

2. The Challenge

What is the future of immersive, personalized experiences in the retail space?

Retailers and consumers are at an interesting inflection point in their physical and digital relationships today. With ever-increasing choices on when, how or where to shop at their fingertips, consumers seem to need more reasons to come back to the physical store space.Consider the future of immersive and personalized experiences in the retail store. What could retailers do that would truly drive connection with younger consumers in their shopping experience of the future?

3.The Opportunity

We are at an inflection point for the physical and digital integrations in retail stores at hand. Newer technologies along XR, haptics and targeted visual and audio technologies can allow us to explore new avenues for shopper participation. What might enhancements look like for loyalty members that we could unlock across the store using digital tools and technology?

4. Research

Themes recurring from my individual research about the need in retail space:

Innovation & technology

  • Web3, the metaverse, and web decentralization remain significant topics for brands.
  • The blending of physical and digital spaces is ongoing, leading to both exciting and challenging outcomes.
  • Opportunities exist in various forms, such as enchanted objects, screens, and fully integrated ecosystems, offering numerous possibilities for exploration.

Consumer Preferences

  • The term "unprecedented" is now less remarkable; rapid changes are becoming normal.
  • These swift shifts across various aspects of life are influencing changes in consumer preferences.
  • Emerging trends include a blend of personalization and authenticity in experiences.
  • There's a growing desire for more intuitive experiences that feel less technology-driven.
  • Consumers expect adaptive and seamless interactions throughout their journey.


  • Rapid use of responsive technology can lead to errors and technology fatigue.
  • It's essential to develop equitable and inclusive solutions for customers and brands.
  • Addressing biases and overcoming customer barriers are key.
  • Making qualitative predictions using models and parametrics is challenging,
  • After going back and forth with opportunities statements for retail experiences, we experimented with shoes and perfumes. A robot shoe assembler and a robot perfume maker were the top ideas from which we boiled down to olfactory sensations.

    Refined Opportunity Statement

    As part of our efforts to acquire new customers, we, Perfume Co, will create an interactive browsing experience at retail stores that educates customers who are new to perfumes to discover their tastes and preferences.

    We experimented with future retail shopping concepts and present olfactory shopping experiences to see room for wild ideas about our perfume shopping booth, considering the diversity in smells and the emotions they evoke for each individual.

    5. Concept

    The Olfactory Factory

    An interactive in-store setup that makes user-customized perfume samples based on their interactive browsing experience of a digital/physical garden.

    a) Conceptual Experience Design

    1. When person approach each ingredient, we release scent, project generative art on the wall, and play ambient music that match the ingredient.

    2. We digitally observe the person’s facial expression and observe how long they spend at each scent.

    3. We create a perfume sample based on the person’s reaction and generate a personal scent recommendation at the end of the experience.

    Multi-sensory Engagement


    A space filled with greenery to resemble a garden and intrigue your visual senses.Also witness as you influence the creation of the generative art backdrop.


    Step closer to the suspended hanging balls above you. Inspect the ingredient each one conatins and trigger its atomizer by touching it.


    Let the scent of the ingredient contained in the suspended glass balls envelop you. Scents: Lavendar, cinnamon, Wood musk, floral etc.


    Listen to a tune that immerses you further into the experience.Example: Bird chriping, wind and water sounds etc.

    Key Spikes and Risk Mitigation


    Each additional test scent experience adds an entire section to the final installation.

    New Horizons

    Aspects of the design such as AI facial expression processing and par and generative art are new to us but on the edge of our ability.


    Smell hasn’t been used extensively in retail marketing, partly because its hard. It will likely be hard for us too to qualitatively use models and parametrics to make predictions.

    b) Concept Journey - Story Board

    c) Conceptual Physical Design

    d) Conceptual Tech Pipeline

    The initial goal was to realise the experience into a working prototype. We went about planning the computing flow and also improvising as we build.

    6. Experiment with Voice

    As part of an alternate input method to facial expression, the team decided to utilise verbal feedback as voice input to the generative system after an module was developed by one of the team members for another project.

    The generative flower blooms on positive verbal input, goes back gradually on negative feedback.
    The flower module is made on P5.js and uses P5.speech library and Google Sentiment Analysis API

    7. Prototyping

    a)  The Experience Flow

    1. Wander

    The custmer explores different scent stations and provides verbal feedback.

    2. Curate

    As you walk around, the store listens, observes and curates the perfect perfume formula for you.

    3. Receive

    At the end of the experience, customers will be presented with a sample created in real-time just for you along with a unique generative art label that encapsulates your experience.

    b)  Physical Prototype

    The idea was to use sound reactive visual to provide immediate and fun response to a feedback for review of the scent. Gathering responses verbally and then at the end, recommending a custom scent for them to wear for the day.

    As we started to build the prototype, we improvised our approaches to the MVP based on convenience and resources:

    1.We realised speech.p5 as a good open source library for speech to text built on p5.

    2. We used made the physical structure in the form a tube that compels people to peep in and also as a window to the visual.

    3. For our back end, we used the Google Vertex API to do Sentiment Analysis of the said feedback of the scent.

    4. The sentiments returned would bloom or de-bloom the flower.

    5. We did a semantic similarity of the description with a perfume dataset we had to recommend custom smell ingredients to users.

    6. We kept the physical aesthetic abstract with straight lines representing branches and circles representing flowers. The structure was made at a height where people could peep into.

    We made renders after sketching to check how the physical model could look like.

    8. Demo

    Demo at the Industrial Design Launchpad

    We eventually demo-ed it to a public, showcasing the work to about a 50-60 folks and getting interesting and positive feedback for novelty.

    9. Reflections

    What is the most important learning from this project that you I take?

    Reflecting, I've realized the importance of balancing ambition with practicality. Initially focused on developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the project broadened my perspective, emphasizing not just the product, but also the significance of a compelling render, pitch, and user experience in communicating a project's value proposition.

    This experience also highlighted the interdisciplinary perspectives of teamwork, especially with members from diverse backgrounds, enhancing the project with a variety of perspectives and skills.

    Overall, this project was one of my first deep dive into interactive environments, teaching me to plan and execute with a more rounded strategy that extends beyond the tech to include storytelling & user experience.