Sending a text message is easy – but what if sending a smell through your phone was just as easy? A research team at Harvard University has designed a new device called the Ophone that transmits smell signals through smartphones. The device uses a small cartridge that attaches to your smartphone and lets you send the smell you want the cartridge to produce through a companion app called oTracks. It may sound strange, but the lead designer says the idea was not just to reproduce an existing way of communicating, but instead to create a new language and a new way of communicating with people around the world. The Ophone not only makes it possible to accurately send and receive smells, but also lets you pair them with images on your smartphone’s screen. Eventually, the team says, the Ophone can transmit up to ten thousand smells and may even be able to capture new smells. Until then, though, we’ll have to stick with boring old words.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.