A group of software developers have created a smartphone attachment designed to improve the experience of bland meals. The Hana Yakiiniku clips into the phone’s audio jack and emits enticing smells, supposedly designed to make the user think they’re eating something else.
The gadget works using pre-loaded cartridges that spray in the user’s face during mealtimes. Triggered by an app, the smells trick the brain into thinking what they’re eating tastes of that flavour. Available in short ribs, beef tongue and buttered potato flavours, the clever gadget is targeted at those on a budget, dieters and daters. Although the last group is a bit confusing, it seems like having meaty breath can be a real concern for some.
The overall peripheral only costs around $30, with cartridge refills priced at around £10. Although it’s currently only available in Japan, there are plans to bring it to the US and further afield.
Despite the off-beat nature of the Hana Yakiniku, this isn’t the first time smartphones and smells have crossed paths. Here we take a look at three other inventions that have tantalised the senses through technology.
Japanese company Chaku Perfume went to market with a similar concept. Users could pass Chat Perf attachments to their friends and then ‘send’ smells to them, seemingly evoking memories or a partner’s favourite perfume at the touch of a button. Yet it fell down a bit due to different attachments being needed for different smells, and the fact that it cost around $60 per peripheral.
Samsung Perfume Phone
This one never actually made it past the patent stage, but Samsung was seemingly working on a phone with a built-in perfume ‘pad’. The strip would emit smells when a notification was received and could be replenished once the phone was put on charge. We’ve yet to see anything further on this from the Korean manufacturer, but at least we know it’s in its arsenal.
Scientists in Japan claimed they had discovered a way to bring smells into people’s living rooms using printers back in 2010, bringing the much touted ‘smell-o-vision’ to life. The group modified a simple Canon printer to emit scents for a fraction of a second, with the smells corresponding with the program displayed on the attached TV. This included food scents for cookery shows, with mint and grapefruit amongst the ingredients during testing.