iSmell: Japanese firm reveals the first ‘smelliphone’ add-on that lets you send scents to friends
- Japanese maker ChatPerf is working on various ‘scent tanks’ that emit different smells for different occasions
- Prototype works with Apple phones, an Android version is expected in September
The first prototype of what’s been dubbed the ‘smelliphone’ has been shown off by Japanese firm ChatPerf.
In a video on DigInfoTV, ChatPerf demonstrates the Scentee device, which can be attached to smartphones and used to send smells to friends.
The company claim it can also be used to create atmospheric scents while playing games or watching films, for example.
SMELL-O-VISION AND THE SMELLING SCREEN
Smell-O-Vision was a system created in 1960 by Hans Laube.
It was used in cinemas during the film Scent of Mystery.
The system was fitted to cinema seats and released 30 smells at different points during the film, triggered by the film’s soundtrack.
Smells included pipe tobacco.
In 2013, a group of researchers from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology developed a prototype smelling screen.
The smelling screen combines a digital display with four small fans, one at each corner of the display.
Smells are stored in gel packets and are released at set times.
The smells are blown parallel to the screen.
By varying the speed and strength of each fan, the different smells are moved to specific areas of the screen.
The smelling screen is believed to be the first device to incorporate smells into a television scree
ChatPerf PR Manager Aki Yamaji said: ‘Suppose you want to send a message to a friend via a social network, maybe because you know your friend it tired.
‘You can use [the Scentee] to send a relaxing scent along with your message.
‘You can also use it to add a scent to the notification sound whenever you get a new email.’
The company also think the Scentee could be used with games.
For example, shooting games could come with a gunpowder scent.
Or games like Candy Crush Saga could produce a sugary, sweet smell during gameplay.
ChatPerf plan to sell different scents in small plastic tanks.
These tanks can be fitted to the underneath of the Scentee, and can be swapped around depending on what smell you want to send.
The Scentee is plugged into the phone using the phone’s connector.
To send a smell the sender clicks the Puff button on the screen.
The recipient’s Scentee lights up and a ‘puff’ of scent is released from a hole on the right-hand side of the connected device.
The company has already released an SDK that links applications and devices, and is hoping that developers will use this kit to start developing apps that use the technology.
The prototype uses a 30-pin dock connector compatible with Apple devices up to the iPhone 4S.
It does not have the Lightning connector seen on the iPhone 5 yet, nor is there an Android version available.
Yamaji hopes that the Android version will be released in September and will plug into the phone’s earphone jack.