A couple of German companies have banded together to develop technology for sending scents from phone to phone via text message. The scent chip was patented in last week, announced the development partners: interactive services company Convisual and the Institute of Sensory Analysis and Marketing Consultancy (ISI). The chips are expected to be available to consumers in one to two years, and each will contain about 100 prefabricated scents. Negotiations with mobile phone providers are underway.
Read more in The Local
NTT has been hard at work incorporating fragrance into its communications services. As we reported in January, they’ve been testing internet-controlled fragrance dispensers. Currently under testing is a “Mobile Fragrance Communication service” that will allow users to send scents through their phone. Using NTT’s DoCoMo’s “i-mode” mobile web site, senders can create custom fragrance playlists and pair scents with visual and audio content. Recipients will require a fragrance-dispensing unit that contains 16 different base fragrances, which get mixed according to the recipe sent by the caller, delivering the desired scent. Scents can also be sent from an email message sent to a gateway associated with the recipient’s internet connection, which in turn delivers the instructions to the in-home unit. Once done with testing, NTT is planning to price the fragrance emitter at around $195 (¥20,000), with cartridge refills at around ¥1,600.
Read more in the New York Times and Information Week
Giant Tuesday Night shows us the potential of the Smell-o-phone:
IEEE Spectrum has done a great piece summarizing the history of fragrance-related business activities of Tokyo’s NTT Communications Corporation. NTT has been experimenting with fragrance for about three years now, testing a wide variety of business applications and consumer reactions. Applications include an internet-controlled fragrance dispenser, which has up to 80 different fragrances. Users download scent mixture recipes from NTT’s web site and upload them to the fragrance devices. The company is also testing digital signage that emits scent. Check out IEEE Spectrum’s article: NTT Becomes a Smell-o-Phone Company.
PC Magazine has done an interesting review of a variety of scenting devices on the market. Products reviewed include scented USB drives, scented phones and phone cases, aromatherapy alarm clocks, USB oil burners, scented LED lights, scented pens, and a variety of other scent diffusers. More at PC Magazine
Consumers in Japan can purchase Sony Ericsson’s new scented phone, the NTT DoCoMo SO703i. These flip-phones contain a scented strip called an “aroma sheet” near the hinge. The replaceable sheets are guaranteed to be fragrant for over 3 months. Available scents apparently include “apple pie.” Additional features include GPS navigation, television, and audio player functions. DoCoMo is Japan’s largest mobile phone operator. Other DoCoMo phones with interesting features include a Wellness phone that includes a breathalyzer and a motion sensor. Read more at Ubergizmo and NTT DoCoMo
Forget about ring tones, Nokia’s got a concept phone in the works that will let users identify callers via user-customizable scents. And not only that, it’s flat and folded, like an origami paper airplane. The Nokia Scentsory cellphone idea also includes capabilities for wellness aromatherapy. Read more at Ubergizmo