As if we don't have enough meal sharing on social media as it is. It seems that you can't go more than five seconds on Instagram without scrolling upon some carefully composed food porn, whether it's a homemade dessert or a food truck delicacy. Now, the oPhone Duo promises to add another smelly layer to oversharing in the form of a scent-based system that allows people to send along a customized whiff with their snapshots. With over 300,000 different scents to mix and play with, it's a bit more labor-intensive than choosing between Mayfair and Valencia for that snapshot. (For the record, you can also attach your aromas to emails and mobile messages.) I don't think I'd be the only one who would spend a ridiculous amount of time obsessively wafting and whiffing the object at hand in order to send the perfect scent-agram.
You might remember Google's molecule-aligning prank from a couple of years ago—you know, the one that asked the important questions such as "What does the inside of an Egyptian tomb smell like?" (Their answer, in case you were wondering, is "dust, sand, bandages and gold atop mummified royalty.") The oPhone is a step toward this previously joked about tech, but from the looks of the Indiegogo video, Le Laboratoire is more about connecting people who live miles apart than helping the masses explore an olfactory encyclopedia of the world. Check out the video, which features cinematography and music worthy of Wes Anderson:Like the idea of sending scents, the concept of the oPhone has been around for a while. Le Laboratoire debuted a prototype in 2013 at a Wired event—with a mere 320 smell options—and kicked off their crowdfunding campaign last month. The product itself is made up of two columns atop a base that, in theory, sounds a bit like a chemist's mixing lab. The base is home to eight scent cartridges, called oChips. Each cartridge has four different smells for a total of 32 base scents, which can be combined in upwards of 300,000 cocktails. After choosing your bouquet via the oPhone's app—"oSnap"—the scent mix is sent off into oPhone's smelly server system and delivered to your recipient's oPhone.
If anything, it's an interesting way to include (read: overshare with) your friends and family on your day-to-day, uh, diet and other smelly things. Perhaps culinary enthusiasts will explore a bold new frontier of scent-driven food porn (don't think about that too hard)—or maybe it will fall into the hands of pranksters who cook up the worst possible smells just because they can. I can't explain in words how much I'm itching to get my hands on one, just to send my parents a better "explanation" of how NYC smells on trash day (words don't do it justice). On that note, 300,000 different scents? While most of us have a good nose (and tongue) for our favorite indulgences, I don't think many of the general population could—or would want to—break down their breakfast to that extent.
To start things off, the device will come with two cartridges—"foodie" and "coffee," with more to come as funding progresses. If this sounds like just the thing your social sharing needs, check out the project on Indiegogo.
Via Design Milk
See also: Smell-o-Vision, or Something Like It: Olly Turns Web Notifications into Olfactory Sensations