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Smell-o-phone creator attaches scents to eBooks and songs

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The Harvard professor that brought us a real life smell-o-phone has announced that he's expanding his olfactory-focused products to include eBooks, songs and clothing. Now clothes that give off a scent isn't that weird, but eBooks and songs? How does that work? Professor David Edwards is calling these unusual digital tomes and music "oBooks" and "oSongs," and they pair up with his company's, Vapor Communications', "oPhone" contraption. That device (see above) contains all the scent chips meant to be mixed until it matches the specific scent indicated by the files. When it was launched last year, it was only good for giving off scents attached to messages indicated by the sender through its accompanying app.

An oBook's images come with "scent tags," and as long as you're accessing the files on a smart device connected to the oPhone, the contraption can give off smells indicated by those tags (say, the scent of fruits or flowers) as you read along. As for oSongs, they trigger specific smells with their melody as they play. The bad news is, you can't buy any oSong or oBook yet. In fact, they're nothing but museum exhibits at the moment.

The first oBook is called Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Smelly Version, and it will be exhibited at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York starting on April 18th. The first oSong, on the other hand, was composed by Canadian-Hungarian composer Dániel Péter Biró and will be exhibited at Le Laboratoire Cambridge on April 17th.

That said, the company does have a new product ready for purchase: its first oClothing item, the $10 oBracelet, which has an embedded scent chip that can last for weeks. We're guessing people would be more excited if the company's found a way to allow users to attach any scent they want to any eBook or song. But seeing as these products aren't even ready for a wider release, we're not holding our breath.

In this article: onote, smell-o-phone
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