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Scentee: Reach out and ‘smell’ someone!

Reach out and ‘smell’ someone!
Reach out and ‘smell’ someone!
Image from Koki Tsubouchi’s YouTube Video, entitled "Scentee My scent / ワタシになれる" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDiz5rXx72Q)

Scentee Inc., a Japanesse Company, has released a smart device accessory that emits odors when one receives a Facebook “like,” a message, and even, an alarm alert. This accessory works with an app on compatible products (iOS running iOS 7.0.3 or newer; Android running 4.0 or newer) and physically connects via the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

After careful analysis of the English translation of their website and 10 minute commercial, Scentee has several limitations. The cylinder-shaped Scentee is relatively bulky (1.2” length x 1.2” width x 1.7” height) relative to the connected smart phone and, also, requires a separate battery for operation. The aforementioned lithium ion battery (3.7 V – 40 mAh) has a short standby time (ranging from 24 – 48 h) and it requires an independent MicroUSB cable to charge the device. Furthermore, the Scentee only houses a single scent cartridge at a time.

As for the positives, this device is an affordable novelty (¥ 3,654 or approximately $35 + shipping). Additionally, the cartridges are available in a cornucopia of smells, such as traditional air fresher faire (coconut, jasmine, and apple) and then the truly unique olfactory experience (curry, corn soup, and bar-b-que). Moreover, Scentee Inc. plans on releasing 20 compatible apps in the next 2 years and has already released their software developer’s kit to aid with third-party apps.

While the Scentee may be a mere fad, if not by scent, then which sensory modalities will future technology use to interact with humans?