Giving computers a sense of smell.
Vision and hearing have been digitized, but not smell — our oldest and deepest sense.
Read, map, write
To digitize a sense, you must be able to Read it, Map it, and Write it with distinct yet interdependent technologies.
Reading requires converting atoms into bits like what a camera does for light and a microphone does for sound
Mapping the sensory world involves understanding and organizing those bits like RGB for color and frequency for sound
Writing a sense means turning bits back into atoms that we can perceive like we do with printers and speakers
To digitize scent, we have to invent and integrate all three: turning odor molecules into digital signals; understanding how these signals are related and perceived as scents; and converting these digital representations back into real scents.
At Osmo, we started by building the world’s first map of odor, and have begun writing scents from the map into fragrance ingredients. We’re now embarking on end-to-end reproduction of a captured scent. We call this an Osmograph, and believe that like a photo or a song an Osmograph has the power to activate treasured memories and evoke profound emotions.