Text Smells With Scent-Based Mobile Messaging

Text Smells With Scent-Based Mobile Messaging

The oPhone allows iPhone users to send pictures with special scents for a dual sensory experience.

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 23 june 2014

Have you ever had a friend send you a picture of a delicious meal and wished you could smell those heavenly aromas? Or maybe wanted to show off picnic photos, but feel like part of the experience is lost without the scent of fresh lemonade and grass? Maybe even getting a text from your significant other layered with the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies? The fact is, the visual can really only take us so far in terms of sensory experience but that may all change, thanks to the oPhone.

Created by Vapor Communications, the oPhone allows users from anywhere in the world to send photos along with scents. The process takes just a few short steps, and all you need is two iPhones and an oPhone. First, both users download the free oSnap app (currently only available for iOS). One person then takes a picture of something, and chooses “tags” for the primary and secondary smells. Once they send it to the other users, they can play the scent on their oPhone, catching a whiff of what the first person is experiencing, more or less.


With the current technology, this device can hold up to 32 different scents to create over 300,000 combinations of aromas. The device uses eight chips that each hold four smells, like a printer cartridges. Once the message is received the machine deploys the chips in a specific order. As of right now, there’s no way to send harsh or unpleasant scents since Vapor Communications has only created food smell chips. They hope that eventually they can develop the app to recognize certain objects and tag scents automatically.

If you’d like to make the oPhone a reality, you can contribute to its IndieGoGo fundraiser, which at the time of writing is currently just shy of $10,000, out of a goal of $150,000. If they receive the funding, the oPhone can be purchased in 2015 at a presale price of $149 and retail price at $199. One day, we might just replace emojis with smells as the new way of texting.

[h/t] Engadget, Slate


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