New Device Makes Sending Scented Messages Possible

September 4, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. a whole new level /ə hoʊl nu ˈlɛv əl/ (idiom) – a situation with great intensity and uniqueness
Example: The manufacturers took text messaging to a whole new level.

2. emit /ɪˈmɪt/ (v.) – to release something
Example: Defective chargers can emit smell of burnt wires.

3. fuse /fyuz/ (v.) – to combine with each other and form a single unit
Example: Developers fused different programs for the new phone model.

4. aroma /əˈroʊ mə/ (n.) – an odor or smell that is usually desirable
Example: The aroma of brewed coffee attracted the visitors.

5. preorder /priˈɔr dər/ (v.) – to order a product before its launching or selling date
Example: The company allows its customers to preorder the new phone model months before the official release.


Read the text below.
A Harvard professor and his team plan to bring photo messaging to a whole new level by adding scents to pictures.

David Edwards, an engineering professor and founder of Vapor Communications, led the invention of a device called “oPhone” that can emit various scents. This device works with “oSnap,” an app that can be used to take pictures and add aroma tags.

According to Edwards, oPhone has 32 basic scents that can be fused in several ways to form around 300,000 different smells. Users can blend these basic scents through several options in oSnap. For instance, a photo of grilled food on the seashore can be accompanied by its unique and accurate scent through proper combination in oSnap. This photo will then be called an “oNote,” which can be sent to contacts who have the app and the oPhone.

Last June 17, Edwards’ team launched the device by sending a “scent of New York” to his colleague in Paris.

A fund-raising program to help oPhone raise $150,000 before its official launching is currently ongoing. It can be availed in early 2015 at $199 per pair. Until its official launch, buyers can preorder a pair of oPhones for only $149. Also, the oSnap app is now available for free on the App Store.

Edwards hopes that phone users can make their communication more special with the presence of scent within the photos. He believes that oPhone can help in people’s health and in other areas where scent is important.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If given the chance, would you purchase oPhone? Kindly discuss your answer.
·         Do you think oPhone can accurately send scents? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How important is the sense of smell in our everyday lives?
·         Please name things that you really love to smell and explain why.

September 4, 2014