Smell Phones Are Coming

By | March 18, 2014
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Holiday albums could be less forgettable when pictures of a Mediterranean meal carry the scent of olives; a selfie on the beach contains a trace of salt spray or a rainy London scene conveys the distinctive aroma of freshly wet concrete.

If the digital age has increased the volume of communication, it may not have improved the quality. Reversing that trend is the goal of a new generation of sensory engineers who are going beyond sight and sound to produce devices that use our untapped faculties. Perhaps the most exciting breakthroughs right now are arriving in the form of smell-centered communication.

“Our motto is ‘aroma tells a thousand pictures'”, says Dr. David Edwards, biomedical engineer at Harvard and founder of Le Laboratoire, known for producing radical sensory devices such as calorie-free chocolate spray. Every human has thousands of distinct smell sensors, Edwards explains, a resource he taps with his newest invention the oPhone.

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One thought on “Smell Phones Are Coming

  1. Muriel Schlecht

    Another way to “make a buck” and play “mind games”. One thing is sure, those “smells” are made in a chem lab somewhere. In some communities, this might be the only way we’ll ever be able to remember what “fresh air” might have smelled like.
    Seriously, do we really need any more exposure to “lab gases” that could prove poisonous. Again, the “safety” testing, if any at all, will be done by the industry, and manipulated to get THEIR DESIRED result.

    I’d much rather take a walk on the beach, or hang out in the kitchen while dinner is cooking.


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