From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Olfactory Texting: The oPhone

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;


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