It looks like Japan is leading the way on yet other technology front, first introducing Smell-O-Vision to movie theaters, and now developing an odor recorder that'll let you grab a smell and enjoy it any time you like. The device, developed by engineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, works by using 15 chemical-sensing microchips that pick up aromas which it converts into a sort of "digital recipe" that can be reproduced at any time with the help of 96 chemicals that can be mixed, heated, and vaporised at will, resulting in sweet, sweet emissions the human nose can recognize. So far, the researchers say they've replicated the smell of oranges, lemons, apples, bananas, and melons -- even distinguishing between green and red apples. In addition to recording smells for the fun of it, the researchers see the system as a potential boon to online shopping, letting consumers check out fragrances and food before buying them. We're just glad we're not around for the pranks at that laboratory.

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Researchers developing odor recorder