Japanese Device Records and Replicates Smell
July 12, 2006 9:02 AM
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Ideas are already in the works on how the device can be used commercially
A research team at the Tokyo Institute of Technology today unveiled
a device that can detect, record, digitize and then replicate any smell
. The creator of the device, Takamichi Nakamoto says that the machine while currently a bit large, can be programmed to recreate any smell. The device uses 15 specialized sensors that convert smell into digital formulas can be used to store libraries of smell.
Nakamoto says that while "the sensitivity of the human nose is very good", his machine can replicate the same performance. Nakamoto says that he believes the device can be commercialized. Currently, a smaller version can be made that simply records smell but not reproduce it. For reproducing smell, the device contains 96 different chemicals stored in glass jars, mixed together to reproduce a vast range of smells.
A number of commercial applications can be used for such a device says Nakamoto. Shopping for flowers online, or transmitting a smell trough a cell phone and sending it digitally to a receiver somewhere else in the world are just some of the things Nakamoto and his team thinks are very possible. If successful, the device will be commercialized into small devices and can even be used in computer applications. Games, libraries, encyclopedias and other software can take advantage of a large library of smells and reproduce them for an entirely new degree of interactivity.
A similar device is being engineered by Keio University of Japan. Currently, Nakamoto and his team are working to extend the range of the device. His team of 12 is working with various fragrance companies as well as electronics companies to drive up interest in the technology.
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7/12/2006 11:18:00 AM
A more likely application of this technology is in synthesising fake smells.
eg the smell of explosives.
Tracker dogs which look for bombs in luggage could be caused to chase after decoys using this technology.
Meanwhile the real bomb remains undiscovered, ready to explode.
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