The Smell-o-phone comes to the U.S.

Crave US: Is there a big outcry for scented gadgets? We may be in store for some more smelly goodness, courtesy of Motorola...

Mike Yamamoto Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.
Mike Yamamoto
2 min read

Crave US: Is there a big outcry for scented gadgets? The folks at Crave have commented on the uselessness of scented USB drives and the wackiness of aroma phones in Japan, but we may be in store for some more smelly goodness.

Motorola has received a patent for a handset that releases scents by heating a gel packet, similar to the way plug-in air fresheners works. According to the New Scientist, the phone's power amplifier could activate this feature without dramatically altering the phone's design. This is key for Motorola because slim, chic phones, like the Rizr, are the company's bread and butter.

I don't know what Motorola is thinking here. A few months ago, the 'Got Milk?' folks spent hundreds of thousands of dollars putting cookie-scented strips on bus stops in San Francisco. The campaign lasted about 36 hours because of complaints from riders, diabetic organization, anti-obesity organizations, and even homeless people. This just shows how invasive smells can be, and how each individual has a different definition of what smells good.

And is there any smell that wouldn't get old? If you log a lot a time on your phone, I'm sure even fresh-cut roses or mouth-watering pizza would get annoying.

No word on when these smelly handsets will hit the streets, but I'm sure the public can't wait for phones to shoot out smells on the bus, or in an elevator.

I believe there is far greater promise in gadgets that eliminate odors, but that may just be me. -Mike Yamamoto