Smells are better than any other sense at triggering memory. So if you could associate a scent with a specific person, you'll always know who's calling or texting, if you use iScent.
Santa-Ana-based startup QBlinks created the iScent, which releases a custom scent whenever your phone receives a notification. The iScent uses an iOS or Android app to sync with your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. When a notification arrives, a scented mist is released. The app is designed to alert you when you get a text message, a social media update, an email or even a calendar notification. You'll just need to make sure your phone is no more than 32 feet away from the device.
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But that's not all. If you ever wanted to see smoke dance to music, the iScent device has a Party Mode, where the iScent will release an equalized mist to the beat of music. It will also respond to speech and singing.
iScent's design was inspired by an ancient Chinese Wolf Tower, which burned wolf excrement to create a smoke signal that alerted Chinese soldiers of any encroaching neighbors. We're hoping the iScent doesn't smell of scat. Once designed, QBlinks used a 3D printer. iScent does not come with more than one smell, but you can make your own using essential oils. The company is mum on the scent it plans to ship with the tower.
QBlinks is currently trying to raise more than $33,000 via Kickstarter to release the first order of iScents. The first 100 backers can preorder an iScent for $35. The rest can preorder one for $45. iScent comes in either white, grey or brown, and is charged with a USB cord. Orders should start to ship by December 2014.
This isn't QBlinks first foray into crowdsourcing a smartphone notifications tool. The original QBlinks didn't meet its fundraising goal of $35,000, only raising $20,958 from 401 backers. As a result, that product will not make it to market at this time. Because the idea of iScent seems too good to be true, we're crossing our fingers that this one might succeed far enough for us to be able to test party mode for ourselves.