BMW has had air vent scents for years now. Mercedes first brought such technology to life in the S-Class many years ago, by adding a diffuser in the glovebox and allowing owners to fill it with different scents, which would then come out of the air vents. BMW then followed with the 7 Series. However, the Bavarians are working on a new technology, which would replace the diffuser with scented air cartridges that could be placed on the actual air vents themselves.
CarBuzz recently found a patent that shows how this new technology would work and what sort of benefits it might have over previous diffuser-based systems. It also shows off a new circular air vent design, that looks more like those found modern Mercedes products. This new technology would work by essentially clicking a circular cartridge onto the face of the air vent, which would add scent directly to the airflow. It would also allow passengers to control the direction of the airflow, thus directing the scent, to whichever part of the cabin. So if you have a stinky passengers, blast them with new car smell until their natural scent disappears.
There’s also a visual element to these cartridges, which have tendril-like fibers that flap in the breeze to show you the direction of airflow. Or they can be cute and represent blades of grass blowing in the wind, accompanied by some sort of fresh air scent. Freshly cut lawn clipping scent for a father’s day, anyone? Apparently LEDs will also be incorporated into these (because of course they will be), which will add another visual element to the cartridges.
Will BMW ever actually put such a technology into production? Tough to say. Car companies patent stuff like this all the time and then never use it. However, this seems like something BMW will implement with a future electric cars. It’s the perfect technology for modern BMW—it’s gimmicky, barely better than the tech it replaces, and has the potential for a silly name. I’m going with “BMW ActiveScents Dynamic.”