While smartphones can pretty much do anything right now, there’s one thing it can’t do: smell. But according to some researchers, that may end pretty soon. Luc Van den hove, president of nanoelectronics research firm IMEC recently stated that we’ve reached a point where we can now build smell sensors small enough to be implemented into smartphones.
Now why would anybody want smell sensors in our phones? Well, these smell-capable phones can be used to check blood alcohol levels so folks can avert the risk of picking up a DUI ticket when deciding to call a cab or to drive home after a party. Other uses include the detection of gases in the air (both safe and dangerous) for health concerns. By a stretch of the imagination, you can imagine these phones being used to tell if food was fresh or not – especially for people with impaired smelling senses.
The technology should be arriving on our smartphones in three to five years time, but until then we’ll have to rely on our own noses. What do you think of smell sensors on phones? What uses can you think of for them?