“Hey Jane, it smells like your boyfriend again!”
In terms of the human senses, (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste) we’ve already been able to synthesize pretty realistic visual, audio, and touch digitally, and we’ve previously written about research work in the taste area. Now a German syndicate has filed a patent for applications allowing users to send scents via cell phones, and expects the new capability will reach market less than two years from now with about 100 different prefabricated scents on the required chip.
Not surprisingly, there are many applications for this technology, ranging from sweet smelling MMS greetings, to branded advertising samples for perfume manufacturers, to scent enhanced games for mobile phones and computers providing an additional sensory element for an outstanding gaming experience.
The principle is simple and requires no additional hardware. All you will need is a mobile scent phone and an SD smart card sized chip, which provides a wide variety of scents. The scent chip can be accessed through various applications: via SMS and MMS, from a connected computer or special mobile scent programs on the cell phone. Users are allowed to accept or reject an incoming scent message in order to avoid stink-bomb spam.
Similarly, mum could be sent a rose-smelling SMS on Mother’s Day, or a Cinnamon greeting at Christmas.
The patent opens the door for mobile handset manufacturers and network operators whose strategy includes providing mobile scent applications. Current developments in Asia show that scent technology has become increasingly attractive for other markets as well, as evidenced by Japanese company NTT Communications’ external scent atomizer for mobile phones.
The German syndicate which has lodged the patent application consists of isi, institute of sensory analysis and marketing consultancy in Göttingen, and conVISUAL, an Oberhausen-based interactive value added services specialist.
ISI (Institut für Sensorikforschung und Innovationsberatung GmbH), institute of sensory analysis and marketing consultancy, is an international market research company focusing on product innovation, sensory product analysis, scent marketing and marketing consultancy. ISI has conducted research on the impact of scent in the marketing arena for over 20 years.
conVISUAL is a provider of mobile- and voice-based value added services and a proven specialist in interactive media like SMS and MMS. conVISUAL offers interactive SMS, MMS, Voice and Video Services as well as Mobile Content and Gateway Services to mobile and media companies.