What If You Could Wake Up And Smell The Roses — In Paris?

Digital Marketing in Santa Barbara May Get Much Better Smelling in the Future

Remember that time when you walked by that restaurant, and you could smell what they were cooking? Not just like, the door opened and a little scent escaped. It was more like they put a plate of deliciousness underneath a commercial sized exhaust fan and pumped that aromatic tractor beam out in all directions. You were powerless against it. Well guess what, the Death Star just went wireless.

The newest crowdfunding party just started today (June 17th) on Indiegogo, and it could be a game changer. The oPhone, created by Harvard engineering professor David Edwards, and built by…wait for it…Vapor Communications, launched its year long release today. The oPhone? You guessed it, it’s a scent messaging device – the first of its kind. Ever wish you could share that fresh pine smell when you were camping, or that not so fresh New York cab smell? Starting in 2015 you’ll be able to.

Here’s how it works. Starting today, you can download the mobile app oSnap from the itunes app store. You can then take a picture and select a portion of the photo, assigning it a scent from a drop down menu. In the menu there are 32 different unique scents that can be combined for 300,000 combinations. You then simply tag the photo and send it off via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If the recipient has an oPhone device, they can recreate the tagged aroma at home and voilà – 0h olfactory joy!


Here’s why it’s important – think three paragraphs ago. Remember that restaurant you ate at because the smell of the hamburgers caught you in their tractor beam? Okay, now fast forward to 2015 when this device hits living rooms everywhere. You wake up in the morning to see a coupon from a local restaurant in your in-box. You open it and BAM, a picture of fish and chips is accompanied by the scent of beer battered fishy perfection. Guess where you’re eating lunch that day. Digital marketing in Santa Barbara just may be upping the ante in the near future.

But what if you don’t have a restaurant? Lucky for you, aroma is not just a foodie thing. The olfactory sense is one of the most visceral. Almost every experience is heightened, or ruined, by an accompanying scent. Think of the implications for an outdoor outfitter, or a surf shop, or the zoo – well, maybe not the zoo so much. But you get the picture right? In the web design for Santa Barbara game, there are opportunities as well. It’s not just a messaging toy. This has the potential to turn your website into a virtual scratch and sniff. These ideas are all projections of what it could become, but it’s definitely something to watch. If this rolls off and works effectively, look for this idea to snowball.


It’s not new to try and use scent as a marketing and/or entertainment tool. Independent theater owners experimented with it in the early 1900s by wafting scents into theaters using fans. In 1960, the first fully automated Smell-O-Vision movie hit the theaters. None of those caught on, but then again they weren’t aided by the wireless age. We’re talking about aroma home delivery here. And if you don’t believe people care, consider the fact the P&G’s Febreze alone is a billion dollar a year brand – that’s 9 zeros – one brand. I guarantee their digital marketers are watching this closely.

Maybe tomorrow you won’t be waking to the smell of digital bacon and eggs. But when you popped that Go-Go’s cassette in your Walkman in 1982 you probably didn’t think that someday you’d be streaming “We Got the Beat” wirelessly straight to your iPhone either. “Streaming? What’s that?”, asks your 1980’s self. Exactly. Hold on to your noses, it’s coming.

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