Smell-O-Vision for smartphones: App brings scents to your phone

For some people, economic circumstances or diet dictate the meals they eat. Those who can’t afford a luxurious steak dinner or want to trim some fat may have to settle for a humble bowl of rice. However, a new smartphone app claims it can turn that modest bowl of grain into more savory grub.

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By using scent cartridges that plug in to a smartphone, the Scentee app puffs out aromas, such as beef ribs, salted tongue and buttered potato, while a user is eating less flavorful fare — the idea being that scent influences a person’s taste.

Developers also envision the scent app being used as a more fragrant alert for alarms, emails, Facebook “Likes” and other messages. Instead of a loud beeping, imagine waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly ground coffee or, when a text is received from a loved one, there blooms the scent of a rose.

So far, the scent catalog includes 12 olfactory options, from strawberry, mint and jasmine, to more non-traditional fragrances like corn soup, cinnamon roll and curry.

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Each cartridge costs a little over $5 and includes enough scent for 100 sprays. The device itself, which is about the size of a ping pong ball and plugs directly into a phone’s stereo jack, costs around $35 and is compatible with Apple iPads and iPhones as well as certain Android phones. Check out this video to get a whiff of what Scentee can do.