Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Japanese Odor Eaters

Well, not exactly. But it's a first step. A new device, developed by a team of scientists led by Takamichi Nakamoto at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, analyzes smells through 15 sensors, records the odor's recipe in digital format and then reproduces the scent by mixing 96 chemicals and vaporizing the result.

Nakamoto's smell recorder has successfully recreated a range of fruit smells, including oranges, apples, bananas and lemons, but can be reprogrammed to produce almost any odor - from old fish to gasoline, he said.

The device
could aid online shoppers by letting people check out perfumes or flowers before they buy. On the other hand, the thing is a bulky 3 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet. So you might not be able to use it while sitting at Panera using your notebook PC to shop at

While excited by this advance, what the olfactory research department at Scott's Spot really has a nose for is the next step in this technology, namely odor neutralization. I'm thinking that there are plenty of opportunities for odor control for restrooms, kitchens, pet litterboxes, and exercise areas.

Or, closer to home, consider my second son's feet and shoes. You don't want to be near them, "near" being defined as being in the same county. The acquisition of the Otomakan
Odor Eater could be a real boon for family togetherness.

I'm predicting that this technology is going to have some entrepreneur smelling the sweet smell of success before too long.


At July 13, 2006, Blogger Neal said...

This reminds me of the food synthesizers on Star Trek and the Hitchhiker's Guide series.


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