Inventors have found a way to send sound and video across the miles, but touch, taste, and scent remain a challenge. One company out of Paris has tackled one of those three challenges, giving friends and family a chance to send scents from across the globe.
Innovation at Work
As with many other scent-based technology solutions, the oPhone requires users on the receiving end to have the device, which is filled with preloaded materials.The “O” in oPhone stands for olfactory. The concept is the brainchild of a Harvard University professor, who has been experimenting with scent transmission through his Paris-based Le Laboratoire, which offers a variety of revolutionary products including Aeroshot, a product that delivers nutrition through powder.
The oPhone’s name indicates that it’s an actual phone, but in actuality it’s a smartphone accessory. It only has the power to deliver scents. The sender simply chooses the scents from the oPhone site, at which point the server sends instructions to the device through Bluetooth technology. The instructions are a recipe, of sorts, and the device has the power to put that recipe together and emit a smell based on the sender’s request.
The real news with oPhone is its future application possibilities. Could this same technology be somehow incorporated into existing mobile devices? Or is it possible every user could be armed with a device based on oPhone technology for use in shopping for scent-oriented items online, like perfumes and colognes?
Boston residents won’t have to buy an oPhone to try it out. The product will soon be open for demonstration at The Laboratory Cambridge in Boston, which will be a U.S. version of the Paris-based laboratory. For those wanting to purchase an oPhone of their own, the product is expected to be available in the last part of 2014.