Innovation That Matters

Device enables friends to send smells around the world


The Ophone is a way for friends to 'text' smells to each other, regardless of where they are in the world.

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Smells are an important part of our sensory makeup and can arouse visceral reactionswhen those aromas are linked to positive memories or feelings. The developers of the Ophone believe that this sense is being neglected by today’s technology, and have created a way for friends to ‘text’ smells to each other, regardless of where they are in the world.

The device currently takes the form of a handheld cylinder, which can be connected to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. Through the Ophone app on their handset, users can select and arrange the smells they want to send into their own personal “symphony” — which could start with a hint of caramel and slowly segue into an espresso aroma. The Ophone is capable of creating 320 different smells, and at the moment it is being trialled with coffee smells that actually deliver a small amount of caffeine when inhaled by the user. After the fragrant message has been composed, the data is sent to the recipient’s Ophone device via their smartphone and they can take in their friend’s personalized aroma.

The Ophone could be used to create a more intimate connection between smartphone users but may also be useful for chefs or perfume makers who want to send original mixes of fragrances to colleagues. Set to hit the market in 2014, there is currently no exact release date or price for the device, but — if successful — perhaps we might see the technology better integrated into smartphones and the rise a community of odor hackers.

Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise



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