How wireless makes scents

TOKYO – Not satisfied with being able to send your favourite person an e-mail, video or music from a cell phone? Japan’s NTT Communications has found a new way to send affection: Beam a fragrance wirelessly.

The service, undergoing a trial starting today, lets users select and send certain fragrance recipes to an in-home desktop unit that concocts and releases the various fragrances. Each holds 16 cartridges of base fragrances or essences that are mixed to produce the various scents in a similar way that a printer mixes inks to produce other colors.

Transforming the mood of room with a new scent is quite easy with this technology. The first step is to choose a scent from the multitude of fragrance recipes available through an I-mode site on a cell phone. Once chosen the instructions on how to make the scent are then transmitted to the fragrance device through infrared from the phone, and from there the scent is quickly mixed and emitted.

If distance is an issue, the other option is to send the instructions to the device via an e-mail message. The message is intercepted by a home gateway unit that is latched to the home’s broadband connection and sends the instructions to the fragrance device at home. Using this method, users can set the time and date of fragrance emission, so one can come home to the relaxing scent of lavender, for example.

There’s even room for creating customized scents, which can be shared with other users through the fragrance “playlist” on the Web site.

The technology is not only limited to creating a pleasant-smelling workplace or home. NTT also sees it as a way to enhance multimedia content. For example, instead of just sending an image of a bouquet of roses to a friend, one can boost the experience by sending the fragrance as well.

The telco hopes the fragrance emitter will cost about

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