On Tuesday, researchers at The American Museum of Natural History oversaw the first transatlantic “scent message” that was transmitted from New York City to Paris smelling of champagne and macaroons. The oPhone, designed by the technology company Vapor Communications, will allow users to tag photos with over 300,000 scents that can be sent to a second user via e-mail or social media and played back through their oPhone device.
"One day fairly soon, any user of a mobile phone, anywhere, will not only be able to receive a scent message, invoking a memory, a culinary pleasure, or peace of mind, but quickly send another back, similar to how we exchange audio information today with friends around the world. The upcoming summer experience is just the start," David Edwards, founder and CEO of Vapor Communications said in a statement.
Developed by Harvard University Professor David Edwards and Harvard University student Rachel Field, oNotes.com is a scent-based messaging platform that can be downloaded for free on a user’s iPhone through the app oSnap. After selecting a photo, the user can tag it with over 300,000 scent combinations originating from 32 unique scents. Users can select one to eight of the 32 unique scents and send their electronic oNote via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
A current pre-sale taking place on Indiegogo from June 17 to July 31 is offering the oPhone device for $149, a 25 percent discount from what the device will cost next year at $199. People looking to see the oPhone in action can do so at The American Museum of Natural History where demonstration and educational activities will be taking place during three weekends in July.
"If today a picture is worth a thousand words," explained Todd Dagres, angel investor in the company and founder of Spark Capital, "tomorrow a scent could be worth a thousand pictures. It is exciting to imagine how the emotional response to a message is magnified by tapping into one's sense of smell. Consider the difference between seeing a picture of a cup of coffee and smelling the coffee. "