A new device capable of transmitting smell signals through smartphones could soon make communicating with odours as easy as sending a text message. Developed by students at Harvard University under the direction of researchers at Paris-based facility Le Laboratoire, the Ophone aims to expand digital communications beyond just sight and sound. “The Ophone will permit us to send olfactory messages instantaneously and around the world,” Le Laboratoire states in its project outline. “These messages, like the text and sound messages we share every day, can be transmitted in crisp olfactory letters — A B C D — precisely in space and in time.” The technology works by utilising a small cartridge that attaches to a smartphone, capable of producing a wide range of odours. Users can then send the smell that they want the cartridge to produce by using the corresponding app, oTracks.