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Smelly emails: oPhone offers scents with mobile messages

Olfactory enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that it’s now possible to attach an odor to an email, allowing lovers of fine scents to share their favorite smells with whomever they wish – provided they have an oPhone close by, that is.

We first got a whiff of Vapor Communications’ plan to odorize your online correspondence at the beginning of the year when the startup revealed it was getting ready to launch an Indiegogo campaign for a scent-based messaging system.

That campaign kicked off today with the first ever trans-Atlantic crossing of an odor, between New York and Paris. The smell? Champagne and macaroons, apparently.

The system works like this: A free oSnap iPhone app lets you take a photo and tag it with so-called oNotes (smells, to you and me). These are created by choosing from among 32 scents featured in the app, which, if you mix and match, offer up to 300,000 combinations.

Fire off the scent-laden email to a friend and they can get a noseful of your creation via their oPhone device, which is essentially a pair of pipes containing scent-filled cartridges called oChips.

“oPhone introduces a new kind of sensory experience into mobile messaging – a form of communication that until now has remained consigned to our immediate local experience of the world,” David Edwards, founder and CEO of Paris-based Vapor Communications, said in a release. “With the oPhone, people will be able to share with anyone, anywhere, not just words, images, and sounds, but sensory experience itself.”  

So yes, the oSnap app is available and operational, but no, the oPhone hasn’t yet been launched. Therefore, to let loose all those smells currently stinking up cyberspace, you’ll have to hope Vapor Communications hits its $150,000 funding target by July 31. Only then will the oPhone go into production, allowing you to finally get a whiff of your friend’s odor, so to speak.

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