Smelly emails: oPhone offers scents with mobile messages

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.

Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.
Home Theater

Beyerdynamic’s Lagoon ANC cans combine customization, noise cancellation

No two people hear sound the same way. This may explain why a growing trend at CES is sound-customization software. Beyerdynamic introduced it in 2017 and now it's back with a noise-cancelling version in its slick new Lagoon headphones.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.