When E.T. uttered the phrase "phone home" in the 1982 movie, he was talking about calling for a ride back to his home planet. But he could have just as easily been speaking about the link between the places we live and smartphones.
One of the latest entries in the ever-growing home/phone relationship is Pura Scents, a smart air freshener now seeking funds on Kickstarter.
The Pura Scent module plugs into a standard wall outlet and will contain two chambers for two scents. Once the device is loaded with fragrances, their release can be timed and controlled through a smartphone app. This means you could have it pump out some relaxing lavender for an hour at bedtime, stop, and then release a stimulating scent like mint as it gets close to your wake-up time. The makers claim this is the world's first smart air freshener.
While that's all well and good, what really caught my eye about this product was the email I got from a company representative talking about how the device could be used to release "on-demand pheromones." After some digging, I found out that each of the fragrances in the "Scents for Him" line will contain the pheromone androstadienone or its derivative androstenol.
"Upper-lip application of a pharmacological dose of androstadienone in women results in improved mood and heightened focus -- particularly to capture emotional information," says a 2013 study about the substance. "A positive mood is known to facilitate women's sexual response, and increased focus improves sexual satisfaction. Indeed, some studies showed a beneficial effect of androstadienone on sexual desire and arousal."
So just imagine it. You're a guy out on a date and it's going well. You invite your lady friend home and with a few taps of your phone, you can set the mood lighting, start the music and -- yes -- fill the air with a scent that just might get her in the mood.
Pura Scent says it will be exploring a similar line for women -- with a hormone that claims to put men in the mood -- which would be available in its second fragrance line introduction. For the first phase, there will be 15 fragrances in categories called floral, fruit, comfort and the men's line.
An early bird pledge will get you a dispenser and two of those fragrances for $58 (about £38, AU$81). Once those are gone, the price jumps to $69 (about £45, AU$96). That certainly seems a bit steep for a glorified Glade PlugIn, but really, what price can you put on dating success? The gizmo also has a built-in night light with customized colors and a USB port.
Pura Scents are expected to ship in June of next year.