Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is That Your Phone That Stinks?

When it comes to our mobile phones, we only use some of our senses.

We use sight when maneuvering through the phone's user interface. We also read news, look at photos, and watch videos.

Sound definitely comes in handy when talking on the phone or listening to music.

While touch has always played a part in how we use phones (most of us appreciate the tactile feel of buttons, scroll balls and track wheels), it's recently become a focus as the iPhone and other touch-screen phones begin to revolutionize how touch is integrated into the user experience.

What's missing?

Well at the moment, you won't get much from putting your phone in your mouth - so we must not be here to talk about taste. Japan's NTT DoCoMo Communications has launched the "Mobile Fragrance Communications Kit" which, as you probably guessed, is designed to engage your sense of smell.

Users can download "fragrance playlists" to their phones. The phone then communicates with a nearby "aroma generator" pre-loaded with 16 base fragrance cartridges. Apparently, the scents can be combined to make up to 200 different smells.

U.S. cell phone companies already rip us off with the high price of text, photo, and video messages. Can you imagine what they'd charge for smell messages?!

Joe Says: I'm a little nervous about this one. While I'm all for engaging all of the senses in the digital world, some things are best left alone. I know for sure that I wouldn't want to be the recipient of an angry smell message. What do you all think?

This is Joe, signing off.

Sources: Engadget, The Cell Freak

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