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May - 2008 - issue > Tech Tracker
NTT-goes-from-cell-phone-to-smell-phone
Christo Jacob
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
NTT Communications spreads fragrance among the mobile users. NTT Communications produce phones that can deliver smells via its new Mobile Fragrance Communication (MFC) service. The system is a mobile version of an existing service that combines downloaded audio-visual content with specific fragrances that are emitted by a dedicated device.

The new mobile version offers the convenience of using mobile communication to download 'fragrance playlists', or files of recipes for specific fragrances together with visual and audio content.

Fragrance data is transferred via the infrared port to a device that has been loaded with a cartridge of base fragrances. The device then mixes the specific fragrances and emits them while the audio-visual content is played back on the phone.

The ‘fragrance playlists’ will be available for download from the mobile website of NTT's sister company NTT DoCoMo and can also be edited as well as shared with others who subscribe to the service.

A device controller called the Service Gateway, which controls the operation of devices in the MFC system, connects with the Internet, allowing instructions to be sent remotely from a mobile phone. This could, for instance, allow commands to be sent to the gateway to instruct the fragrance device to begin operating just before the user arrives home.

NTT aims to use the information it gathers to learn about the preferences for when, where, and how best to make use of the service, as well as opinions of the fragrance device's design and usability. The company is also accepting applications from companies in Japan that wish to develop content and applications for the forthcoming commercial version of the service, including ringtones, music, and horoscopes.

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