Smell-O-Vision Is Coming To An iPhone Near You

EMBPhoto: Courtesy of oNotes.
Ever look at one of the hundreds of brunch, cupcake, or flower Instagram photos on your iPhone and wished you could get a whiff? No? Well, whether you want it or not, the time has officially come — a company has developed an app (called oNotes) that allows you and your friends to text photos with scents attached to them. So, the next time you're taking a beachside snap, you can actually add the smell of the ocean to it.
The idea is cool in theory, albeit kind of excessive, but there are definitely some hurdles to jump before you fall into scratch-and-sniff bliss. These fragrances aren't just emitted right from your phone — you've got to visit an oPhone hot spot. There, you plug in your phone and download your notes, and they'll be pumped out of an oPhone, which looks like a cylinder with a button on top.
That's all well and good, but it seems like a lot of work just to get a whiff of a digital cookie — I'd rather just go to the bakery and grab one myself. But, it's not all pics of pastries: The brand is looking to expand beyond this initial send-a-scent application. oNotes hopes to eventually create immersive experiences for all types of media, from television to books to movies. So, instead of a commercial in which you merely see a woman pulling a turkey out of the oven, you can actually smell the home cooking, too.
While that may seem like an interesting new frontier, we've got to wonder if this could be the start of a slippery slope. Immersive realities could lead to alternate realities, where people become so wrapped up in virtual smells and sights that they might opt out of experiencing the world around them as it is. Is this a direction we really want to go in? Is it wholly necessary to have everything be so incredibly immersive? For now, I think I'll just keep my cookie photo as a cookie photo — no smells necessary.

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