Smell phones worth every scent

Edward Hurley, News Writer

Everyone has heard of cell phones, but what about smell phones?

A company in Scotland has plans to give the "smell you later" conversation capper (remember that from third grade?) some literal value. Inverness-based Electronic Aromas is developing technology to allow cell phone users to send scents back and forth.

Wireless with a whiff of whimsy.

The actual smells don't waft from one phone to the other. A special card in the recipient's cell phone whips up the whiff.

The man behind the company is George Dodd, a perfumer who started the Olfaction Research Group at England's Warwick University. He has developed a way to pack powerful scent molecules into a small area. As a result, a single SIM card-sized cartridge can mimic several dozen smells.

So what's the stinking point of all this?

The intention is for call recipients to know who is calling with a single sniff -- like Caller ID for the nose. Picture the aromatic phone ringing and you saying to your spouse, "Margaret, I smell allspice. Must be your mom."

Dodd sees other applications as well.

"In Japan, where the new 3G [third-generation] phones are now in use, people will happily pay 25p [about 40 cents] to have their daily horoscope sent to them," Dodd told the Glasgow Herald. "We can extend that concept to have their daily perfume sent to them."

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