The first ‘scent message’ crossed the Atlantic via the Internet, say the creators of the oPhone, a new device capable of transmitting scents. The innovative messaging system attaches scents selected from a palette of aromas to photos and sends them via email, Skype or social networks.
The transmission took place on Tuesday at an art center in Paris and was received by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, writes the Livescience.com team that attended the event.
Christophe Laudamiel of the Le Laboratoire, a contemporary art and design center in Paris, photographed delicacies and the bottle of champagne opened at the presentation of the oPhone and sent a message to another oPhone device located in New York.
“With the oPhone, people will be able to share with anyone, anywhere, not just words, images and sounds, but sensory experience itself,” said Harvard professor and co-inventor of the scent-messaging system David Edwards.
Edwards and engineering student Rachel Field worked on the development of oPhone in Le Laboratoire to bring together science and art. To promote oPhone, Edwards founded the company Vapor Communications.
The scent messages, known as oNotes, are composed with the help of the iPhone application oSnap, available for download on the App Store. The user creates combinations of 32 basic aromas that can produce more than 300,000 different scents.
The message recipient can smell it through the oPhone device, which contains small cartridges with 32 basic aromas. Each scent lasts about 10 seconds, and if the message contains multiple scents, the device reproduces them one after another.
The mechanism of smell remains largely unknown. However, it is estimated that the human nose can distinguish more than one trillion scents. The inventors of the scent-messaging platform have launched an Indiegogo campaign and offer oPhone on preorder at a price of $ 149.
Hoping to attract the interest of food and catering business, the inventors are planning to demonstrate the capabilities of the innovative system at the American Museum of Natural History in July.
“In the near term, we’ll go where there are obvious business applications – places where the quality of aroma is associated with the quality of the product or experience,” says Edwards.