It’s clear that Google’s April Fools’ joke Google Nose, the new “scentsation” in search that goes beyond type, talk, and touch that is currently in beta isn’t real, but the idea behind it could actually be a possibility. It seems like such a novel idea, computers with a sense of smell. But it could turn out to be quite useful, for example a sensor that could sniff out a bomb or if you’ve got a cold.
In December, IBM had predicted that computers of the future might be able to emulate a sense of smell, similar to how a breathalyzer can detect alcohol, with sensors that collect large amounts data. While California-based Cyrano Sciences is hard at work developing an electronic nose pre-programmed with a database of smells. By leveraging “new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available” we could have electronic noses that detect harmful gases or diagnose diseases with distinctive smells.
Integrate this kind of technology with a smartphone and you could have a phone that could tell if you’re getting a cold or sense a gas leak in your home. So computing devices might not be that far fetched after all.