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Monday, Jul 3, 2006, 9:05 am

Smell Recorder

By Brian Zick
Paul Marks for NewScientist.com news service reports that engineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are building an odor recorder capable of recording a smell and playing it back later - just like audio and video recorders.

Tokyo team engineer Pambuk Somboon is quoted:
"In video, you just need to record shades of red, green and blue," he says. "But humans have 347 olfactory sensors, so we need a lot of source chemicals."

Somboon's system will use 15 chemical-sensing microchips, or electronic noses, to pick up a broad range of aromas. These are then used to create a digital recipe from a set of 96 chemicals that can be chosen according to the purpose of each individual gadget. When you want to replay a smell, drops from the relevant vials are mixed, heated and vaporised. In tests so far, the system has successfully recorded and reproduced the smell of orange, lemon, apple, banana and melon. "We can even tell a green apple from a red apple," Somboon says.

via HuffPo
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