Sending a text message is easy – but what if sending a smell through your phone was just as easy? A research team at Harvard University has designed a new device called the Ophone that transmits smell signals through smartphones. The device uses a small cartridge that attaches to your smartphone and lets you send the smell you want the cartridge to produce through a companion app called oTracks. It may sound strange, but the lead designer says the idea was not just to reproduce an existing way of communicating, but instead to create a new language and a new way of communicating with people around the world. The Ophone not only makes it possible to accurately send and receive smells, but also lets you pair them with images on your smartphone’s screen. Eventually, the team says, the Ophone can transmit up to ten thousand smells and may even be able to capture new smells. Until then, though, we’ll have to stick with boring old words.

About Shelly Palmer

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Technology, Shelly Palmer is Managing Partner at Palmer Advanced Media, a technology-focused strategic advisory practice that helps Fortune 500 companies and growth-stage companies with digital strategy, data science, marketing, branding, and business development. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

Like it? Tweet it.

"Shelly Palmer Radio Report – March 20, 2014" by @ShellyPalmer

600,000 subscribers and counting...

We write a daily newsletter featuring current events and the top stories in technology, media, marketing and entertainment.

Subscribe