Harvard students want to send smells through smartphones

Imagine if you could not only post pictures of your meals on Instagram but post their odors as well? That seems to the premise that some Harvard students are working on as they try to develop a method of sending out smells over smartphones. The students are working under the direction of Paris-based facility Le Laboratoire to create a new smartphone accessory that “will permit us to send olfactory messages instantaneously and around the world” just as easily as we send out text and voice messages.

A new device capable of transmitting smell signals through smartphones could soon make communicating with odours as easy as sending a text message. Developed by students at Harvard University under the direction of researchers at Paris-based facility Le Laboratoire, the Ophone aims to expand digital communications beyond just sight and sound. “The Ophone will permit us to send olfactory messages instantaneously and around the world,” Le Laboratoire states in its project outline. “These messages, like the text and sound messages we share every day, can be transmitted in crisp olfactory letters — A B C D — precisely in space and in time.”

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