In their annual series of “5-in-5” predictions, IBM predicted that by 2018 computers will replicate all five human senses. Seems like one company doesn’t want to wait that long. Adamant Technologies in San Fransisco is working to get the iPhone a sense of smell. One reason the company gives for doing this is to warn people when they have bad breath, but we’d love to see the technology used to prevent us from drunk dialing our exes.
The man behind Adamant Technologies is CEO Sam Khamis, and he says that an app that can warn of bad breath won’t just be able to tell you have it, but can also identify the source. The apps won’t be available for a while, and they’ll of course need to be coupled with an additional sensor containing the smell-identifying hardware. Adamant says that accessory will cost $100 or less. $100 seems a little high for a digital alternative to the old breathe-into-your-cupped-hand-and-smell-it trick, but a low price point could actually make this pretty appealing.
There could be other uses as well. Khamis sees the sensor being used to measure accurate calorie burning, or monitor blood levels for patients with conditions like diabetes, and yes, even a breathalyzer app to test one’s blood alcohol level.
The technology Adamant is working on aims to solve some problems other technological smell-sensors have, particularly that multiple smells confuse them. It seems current sensors are great at sensing one thing well, but identifying multiple odors from one sample has been a challenge.
It could still be some time before these apps are a reality, but the company recently raised $2.5 million from an investor, and is seeking another round of fund-raising later in 2013.
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