Partners in the project, the Institute of Sensory Analysis and Marketing Consultancy in Göttingen (ISI) and the Oberhausen-based specialist for interactive services Convisual, announced the patent for the smart card-sized chip on Tuesday.
“People will be able to send the smell of the beach and sunshine to their friends when they’re on vacation,” Convisual spokesperson Sandra Wiewiorra told The Local on Wednesday.
The chips are still in the developmental stages and should be on the market in one to two years, she said, adding that there will be about 100 different prefabricated scents on the chip for customers to choose from.
ISI and Convisual have been working on the project for some eight years, developing pleasant scents like vanilla and rose. “Users could send flower scents for Mother’s Day, for example,” Wiewiorra said. “But the possibility for sending bad smells is certainly a possibility because the product has a built in option to reject the text message.”
The chips will be affordable, she said, but customers will need a scent chip compliant phone to access the scents through both multi-media and text messages.
ISI and Convisual are negotiating with different mobile phone providers on marketing and distribution plans for the chips, which could also have applications for branded advertisements and adding a “sensory element” to electronic games.
"Even special holiday scents like Christmas cinnamon are a possibility," Wiewiorra said.