Wake Up and Smell the Coffee with Your Smartphone

posted in: Media


By  December 19, 2014 5:02 pm

The rise of the smartphone has been universal and innovators now reckon we’ll soon not only be able to surf the net, watch videos and share face time via our phones – we’ll also be able to share smells.

That’s according to innovation charity Nesta, which says that successful experiments to send scents via mobile phone will go mainstream in the New Year.

During the summer, macaroon and champagne smells were sent via an iPhone in Paris to one in New York using the oPhone Duo device. Users were able to mix their own scents from a choice of 32 different smells available via the oSnap app, then send it as an oNote. The oPhone hardware then recreates the scent so the recipient can really wake up and smell the coffee.

This is just one of a number of developments in the arena of sending smells by phone. Scentee is another, which is able to release a scent into the air when a text message arrives or when a phone alarm clock goes off. It uses tiny scent cartridges that the user can set to be triggered at certain times.

Pop Dongle is another company making scented plugs-ins for mobile users. Have a look at it in action:

Josh Norton from Nesta told the Daily Mail: “Imagine the next selfie you see posted is accompanied by the scent of perfume. The Instagram photo of your gourmet steak dinner comes with a whiff of buttery mashed potatoes.”

He reckons this will be a major trend in 2015, taking sharing to a new level.

But it’s not the first time that science has promised to give us scents to accompany our audio and visual experiences. In the 1960s, Smell-O-Vision was introduced at cinemas in the US to release appropriate odours at certain points in a film. It wasn’t a hit.

Mr McNorton said: “While we’ve turned our noses up at past attempts, I believe 2015 is the year “smell-o-vision” will finally lose its stink.”