The Japanese have invented Smell-o-Vision for the smartphone with Scentee: an accessory that plugs into your smartphone and loads up with smell cartridges to release various fragrances in all sorts of scenarios.
Scents come in cartridges which users load into the device, with the current range including lavender, coffee, mint, rose, curry and cinnamon.
Once you’ve loaded up your smartphone with a smell of your choice you can then install Scentee’s apps to replace, say, audio alerts from Facebook with the aroma of mint.
“This is the world’s first product that alerts users by scent when they get likes on Facebook” says Koki Tsubouchi of Scentee Inc.
“In the future, we plan to make this work with not only Facebook, but also Twitter, Line [a messaging client similar to WhatsApp], phone calls and emails.”
Users can also use the device simply as an air freshener, placing their mobile device on a tablet and setting up Scentee to release fragrances at a set time.
Another app for Scentee named Hana Yakiniku (roughly translated as ‘Nose Barbeque’ - see below for the video) lets you “taste with your nose” and is designed to improve the flavour of bland meals by releasing appetising smells when you’re eating.
You choose between three scents (short ribs, beef tongue and buttered potato), cook yourself something cheap but unappealing and then let Scentee accompany your meals, ensuring that “your stomach will feel satisfied”.
As well as improving meals for the impoverished student, the app’s makers suggests it could be used by women on a diet – tricking them into thinking their chowing down on something calorific whilst really they’re snacking on lettuce leaves.
Scentee is currently available on Amazon Japan for ¥3,480 (that’s around €25) with scent cartridges costing about £3 and lasting for 100 ‘emissions’. Scentee is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.