Could you send olfactory messages in the future? Could you capture the scent of a delicious meal or something unpleasant and share it? Probably soon but for now, we are beginning to hear (or smell) about devices able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas. Among some of these devices entering the market and our consciousness, there are the apparently real, like the oPhone; and the hoaxy, like the Google Nose. Designer Lloyd Alberts has created an speculative product based on the Google Nose. It is called the Sniffer and it is featured in Next Nature.
“There is a landfill somewhere filled with all the products that have miserably failed in their quest to deliver a high quality aromatic communication experience (Smell-O-Vision, Odorama, iSmell, etc).” Lets take a smell at the Ophone. Developed by the inventor and Harvard professor David Edwards and his ex-student developer Rachel Field. According to their Indiegogo writeup:
What is the oPhone?
The oPhone is a revolutionary device that, in combination with our free iPhone app “oSnap”, allows you to send and receive electronic aroma messages. Think of it as a kind of telephone for aromas. With the oPhone, you can now bring complex scent texting into your mobile messaging life, and share sensory experience with anyone, anywhere.
How it Works
The oPhone DUO is able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas thanks to the small, inexpensive circular cartridges we call oChips, that fit inside the device. The oPhone DUO works with 8 oChips and each oChip contains 4 aromas – so the oPhone DUO works with 32 primitive aromas. They last for hundreds of uses, sort of like link cartridges, but for aroma. You can swap them in and out and capture any scent for which we have designed an oChip. And while we are starting with oChip families (what we call “aromatic vocabularies”) around specific foodie and coffee experiences, we will soon be diversifying these in exciting ways.
Using oSnap with oPhone is like using an aroma palette with a paintbrush and canvas. You will want to try your hand at it, or as we say, “aroma doodle”. And with the oPhone, you’ll quickly get the hang of how it all works.