This “Digital Nose” Could Help Your Fridge Detect Spoiled Food
Headquartered in Grenoble, a city in southeastern France, the six-year-old start-up Aryballe has a singular, if not entirely un-straightforward, goal: to capture, analyze, and digitally document smells. This work is accomplished via its portable, hand-held “universal odor sensor” (picture a smartphone fused with a remote control, with a short, hummingbird beak–like tip). The device uses digital olfaction to imitate the human sense of smell: Hold it in front of a scent-emitting object to let its odor molecules bind, in a matter of seconds, to the gadget’s internal biosensors, which behave like our olfactory bulbs. The sensors then produce a “odor signature” that is analyzed by Aryballe’s software using a database of previously collected aromas.