The first-ever transatlantic "scent message" will be transmitted today from New York City to Paris.
At the American Museum of Natural History here in Manhattan, Harvard professor David Edwards and his co-inventor Rachel Field will electronically send an image tagged with a scent to Le Laboratoire, a contemporary art and design center in Paris. There, a new device - called an oPhone - will decode the message and reproduce the scent using its aromatic cartridges.
In response, Christophe Laudamiel, a fragrance chemist in Paris, will send a Parisian scent back to the museum. [Hold Your Nose: 7 Foul Flowers]
The scent messages, called oNotes, add a new dimension to telecommunication. The possibilities for the technology are vast: Scent messages could be aromatic pictures of a cup of coffee, olfactory tweets from a wine tasting, or scented sounds from a family dinner party, just to name a few examples.
"One day fairly soon, any user of a mobile phone, anywhere, will not only be able to receive a scent message - invoking a memory, a culinary pleasure or peace of mind - but quickly send another back, similar to how we exchange audio information today with friends around the world," Edwards, who is also the CEO of Vapor Communications, the company behind the scent messaging platform, said in a statement.