HACKING THE GLADE WISP
Make your own scent output peripheral
from a piezo air freshener. By Wayne Holder
Photography by Wayne Holder
Not long ago, my 11-year-old daughter Belle wanted Before you go tearing the Wisp apart, get familiar
to create a gadget that would amuse her dog Panda with how the manufacturer intended it to work.
by dispensing different scents for him to sniff. I had Screw in the scent bottle, remove the red blocking
no idea how to control the dispensing of fragrances, tab from the battery, and watch the unit in opera-so we took a trip to the local pharmacy and checked tion for a few minutes.
out the electric air fresheners. Set the Wisp to its strongest setting, use a desk
Most of them diffused fragrances with heat or fans, lamp to illuminate it from the side, and hold a dark
but one, the Glade Wisp, claimed to use a microchip piece of paper behind it; you should be able to see
to “automatically puff” scented oils into the air. white vapor puff out from the top about every 10 to
Intrigued, I bought one to see what made it tick. 15 seconds. This will show you what to expect from
The Glade Wisp runs off a single AA battery, which your modified unit. If you’re curious about how the
powers a vibrating piezoelectric disc that atomizes Wisp works, you can read the patent online; see the
and disperses aromatic oil in short, smoke-like puffs. references for this article at
The Wisp turns out to be easy to hack — for less than diyhome_aroma.
$10 you can make a computer-controlled aromatic
atomizer for all sorts of practical and artistic projects.
1. Hack in and hook up.
Here’s how I modified a Wisp to be controlled by an Now let’s see what’s inside. First, pry off the top
Arduino board running just a few lines of code. shell, starting from the end opposite the adjustment