Are you ready to send and receive messages which use scents instead of words to convey their meaning? You better be, because the technology to do so is almost here. It’s called the oPhone, and along with an app called oSnap, a new world of smell-based communication is upon us. We first took notice of the oPhone at the start of 2014, when it was little more than an art project, albeit a very cool one. Now, the company has released new information about the system, and confirmed its impending arrival on the Indiegogo crowd-funding website.
Here’s how it will work. The oSnap photo app will be available to download for iOS from June 17, and it’s here where you’ll be able to create an oNote, which is your scented message. Once you’ve taken a picture with oSnap, instead of adding a hashtag or other word-based message, you add a scent. The app contains 32 different smells, and it’ll be possible to combine up to eight at one time, giving a grand total of 300,000 different smells. Once you’ve finished stinking it up, the message can be shared by email or through social networks.
Now comes the hard part, because at the moment, your iPhone can’t reproduce the smell of an oNote. You’ll be able to check out the message and attached smells using the onotes.com website, but to actually breathe it in, you need the oPhone accessory itself. At first, you’re going to have to make a real effort to get a whiff of your oNote, because the only public oPhone available for use will be in Paris. Handy if you live there, not so much if you’re a few thousand miles away. Other public oPhone experiences will open up during the year, including one in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
If you want an oPhone of your own, you’ll need to look out for the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign which starts on June 17, and will run to July 31. An oPhone accessory will cost $150 to pre-order, with deliveries expected to take place early next year, which is slightly later than originally expected. If you really want one, buying it through Indiegogo will save you $50 off the standard $200 retail price.
The oPhone is described as the world’s first scent-based messaging platform. The question is, are our noses ready to be assaulted with whatever concoction our friends cook up?