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Scents That Are Sent: Ophone Delivers Aromas

By Michigan Tech News

February 14, 2014

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Researchers at Paris' Le Laboratorie (Le Lab) and Michigan Technological University have developed the oPhone, a device that enables odors (oNotes) to be sent via Bluetooth and smartphone attachments to other oPhones around the world.

The researchers created unique aromatic profiles that are then added to the oChip, which renders the smell. The initial four oChips that will come with the first oPhones can be combined into thousands of different odors, produced for 20 to 30 seconds, according to Le Lab director David Edwards. "Imagine you are online and want to know what a particular brand of coffee would smell like," Edwards says. "Or, you are in an actual long line waiting to order. You just tap on the oNote and get the experience."

Odors are initially captured in wax after they are perfected using a Le Lab aroma expert, who deconstructs the scents. The researchers replace words such as "citrus" or "berry" with actual scents that are created by ordering molecules and combining them in different percentages.

"We think there could be help for Alzheimer's patients, related to the decline and loss of memory and olfactory sensation," Edwards says.

The researchers already are planning improvements for an end-of-year beta release of the oPhone to a limited audience.

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