Olfactory Texting: The oPhone

© Claire Curt

A new gadget that links scents and smartphones aims to become "the iTunes of aroma."

We’ve got gadgets to dispatch texts, selfies, and Snapchats. So why not smells? This summer, the oPhone, a tabletop diffuser that syncs wirelessly with a smartphone, will begin receiving aromatic messages using mini cartridges to emit one of 48 scents—a number that will grow as the nascent technology develops. On a hike? Use the app to send a whiff of rain or trees to your friend’s oPhone. “Our goal is to be the iTunes of aroma—to let you control your air,” says David Edwards, who cocreated the Apple-esque device with a team at Harvard. The techie idea is to enrich the everyday by stimulating the sense linked to that most organic of processes: memory. $300; onotes.com.